GARY, INDIANA – “If you can’t remove that from your face, I’m going to need you to leave the store,” the Family Dollar employee told Sarah Muzdaher Safi, who was wearing a niqab, in the video recorded on a cellphone.
A Muslim woman says she was booted from a Family Dollar store in Gary for wearing traditional Islamic garb, and she recorded the incident on video, WLS-TV reports.
Sarah Safi, 32, says she went to the store on Monday to purchase charcoal for a family barbecue.
“I might have made it 10 steps into the store and I hear the lady behind the counter say, ‘Ma’am, you need to take that off your face or you need to leave my store,’” Safi told WLS-TV
Safi began to record the exchange on her cell phone. She told the clerk, who identified herself as the manager, that she was wearing a niqab and a hijab for religious purposes.
“I understand, but you have to understand, too, this is a high crime area and we get robbed a lot. You need to remove that from your face or remove yourself from the store,” the manager is heard saying in the video.
The manager told her if she didn’t leave the store she would call the police.
Safi says her children were waiting in the car, so she decided to leave the so her children wouldn’t have to see their mother confronted by police.
“Do I wait for the police to come and let my children see this, or do I go head and just go and let Allah handle it how he sees fit?” she said she asked herself.
Safi says she really just wants to sit down with the manager and talk with her about her beliefs and why she wears a niqab and a hijab.
WLS-TV says the manager did not want to speak on camera. They also reached out to Family Dollar for comment, but they have not heard back.