The Golden Arches establishment was under fire due to a 19-year-old woman being refused service because she was wearing a hijab.
The student was stopped by a security guard at the McDonald's on Seven Sister's Road in Holloway, North London, and was asked to remove the head wrap worn by Muslim women. When the young woman questioned why she had to remove her hijab, the guard replied, “It’s just a matter of taking it off." She filmed the entire confrontation.
A friend, Sabrina, decided to tweet her outrage over the incident. "When she started recording the incident, she was told to stop but thankfully didn’t," she said.
In the video, the student is furious but continues capturing the scene as she expresses her shock. "It’s not just a matter of taking it off. I wear this for religious reasons, and I’m not ashamed of it, and I will stand in line, and I will get the food I want because this isn’t okay."
She continues defending her position, saying that she lives down the street and has never encountered a confrontation from other businesses by wearing a hijab. "This is a hate crime!" she exclaims.
"I just want to know who's implementing this policy," she says while approaching the counter. An employee asks her to stop filming, but she doesn't oblige. "It's my legal right to film whatever is happening now because I've been living in the UK for 19 years now and this is the first time I'm faced with this kind of discrimination, and I'm shocked."
With the experience leaving a bad taste in her mouth, she relinquished her patronage and left the restaurant with her dignity intact.
Sabrina added to her earlier tweet, saying, "We will be contacting the relevant authorities to ensure this is dealt with. It is disgusting that hate crimes and discrimination are so prevalent in this country, especially in such a diverse city like London. We cannot be silent bystanders to this hate."
Sadly, it was not an isolated incident.
Props were given to the customer who stood up for her, despite the security guard telling him, "It's none of your business."
McDonald's responded to the incident with an apology. In an emailed statement to The Independent, the restaurant said they welcome customers of all faiths.
"We are taking this matter very seriously and are addressing the situation with the individuals involved; the security guard, from a third party company, has been suspended," they added.
However, some thought the punishment was not severe enough.
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