Muslim Woman Accuses Fas Mart of Denying Her Service Because of Her Head Scarf - NBC4 Washington

Muslim Woman Accuses Fas Mart of Denying Her Service Because of Her Head Scarf



    A local Muslim woman says she was denied service unless she removed her head scarf. (Published Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010)

    A Muslim woman says she was refused service at a Fas Mart in Fredericksburg, Va., Tuesday morning when she refused to remove the scarf from her head.

    Tralesha Faison was trying to make a cash purchase.

    "The cashier asked me to remove my scarf from my head and I explained to her that I wear it for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah," Faison said. "She told me you have to remove it for our safety and security reasons."

    Faison told the clerk she couldn't do that.

    "She said, 'Well, the camera can't see your face,' and I had moved it back a little so she can see the line of my hair and she wouldn't sell me anything out of the store," Faison said.

    "We approached the company," said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. "We asked them obviously to investigate this matter and to possibly reprimand the clerk and offer an apology to this woman."

    Fas Mart issued a statement late Thursday afternoon saying it has a long-standing policy forbidding any discrimination and that the company has more than 1,700 employees that span all races, colors and creeds.

    The company has stopped the store practice of asking customers of removing headgear, which had been in place to deter shop lifting and other criminal activity. The company has suspended the clerk involved in the incident pending further investigation.

    The manager of the store apologized to Faison Wednesday, and the company called its public written statement on the matter its formal apology.

    Finally, Fas Mart is asking CAIR to advise the company's training personnel about sensitivity issues dealing with the Islamic community.

    CAIR said it appreciated the strong statement. Faison, though, said the company has not apologized directly to her. She said she is not satisfied that it issued a news release to the media but did not send a written apology directly to her.

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