Store Bars Muslim Woman Over Religious Veil

Sarah Safi just wanted to buy some charcoal
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2016 5:18 PM CDT
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An Indiana woman who just wanted to buy charcoal for a family barbecue was kicked out of a Family Dollar in Indiana for wearing a traditional Islamic niqab, NBC Chicago reports. Soon after Sarah Safi entered the store Monday in Gary, an employee identifying herself as the manager told her to remove her veil or get out. According to the Indianapolis Star, Safi explained that the veil was a "religious garment." "This is a country where we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech," Safi told the manager, who replied that the Family Dollar was in a "high-crime area" and gets robbed a lot. As Safi, a mother of four, left the store, the manager told her to have a "blessed day."

Safi, who posted a cellphone video of the incident to Facebook, says she's "never been treated like this." The 32-year-old Muslim was born and raised in Texas and has been wearing a niqab for years, WLS reports. "It's not just a blatant violation of the civil rights laws of this country, but it's also a violation of the basic laws of decency and morality," a spokesperson for the Council on American Islamic Relations tells NBC. Safi says all she wants is an apology from the Family Dollar manager. (Read more niqab stories.)

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