‘Compromise’: An artist’s rendition of the head scarf and beret that Noor Abdallah has agreed to wear after Disney objected to her wearing a hijab
A Muslim woman employed by Disney has agreed to wear a beret over her hijab while at work.
Noor Abdallah, 22, was locked in a face off with Disneyland after her employers objected to her religious head scarf.
She works as a vacation planner at a Disneyland Resort Esplanade ticket booth in Anaheim, California.
She refused to take another job away from the public, the Council on American-Islamic relations said yesterday.
So the park and Abdallah reached a compromise.
Now she wears a blue scarf partialy covered by a beret.
‘Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has a long history of accommodating a variety of religious requests from cast members of all faiths – with more than 200 accommodations made over the last three years and this instance was no different,’ Disney spokesman Suzi Brown said in a statement.
Brown said the case is separate from that of another Muslim Disney worker who refused to accept a costume headpiece and filed a federal discrimination complaint.
Imane Boudlal, 26, claimed in August that when she wore the hijab to work, her supervisors told her to remove it, work where customers couldn’t see her, or go home.
Controversy: Imane Boudlal at a news conference in Anaheim, California, yesterday
Boudlal, who wore the scarf in observance of Ramadan, went home. When she showed up for work the next two days, she was told the same thing, she said.
‘Miss Boudlal has effectively understood that they’re not interested in accommodating her request either in timing or good faith,’ said Ameena Qazi, an attorney from the Council on American-Islamic Relations who is consulting with Boudlal.
At the time, Brown said Disney has a policy not to discriminate.
The resort offered Boudlal a chance to work with the head covering away from customers while Disneyland tries to find a compromise.
‘Typically, somebody in an on-stage position like hers wouldn’t wear something like that, that’s not part of the costume,’ Brown said.
‘We were trying to accommodate her with a backstage position that would allow her to work.
‘We gave her a couple of different options and she chose not to take those and to go home.’
Boudlal, who is from Morocco, has worked at the Storyteller restaurant at the hotel for two years.
However she only realized she could wear her hijab to work after studying for her U.S. citizenship exam in June, Qazi said.
She asked her supervisors if she could wear the scarf and was told they would consult with the corporate office, Qazi said.
Rights: Imane in Anaheim yesterday, wearing her own hijab
Boudlal didn’t hear anything for two months and was then told she could wear a head scarf, but it had to be designed by Disneyland’s costume department to comply with the Disney look, Qazi said.
She was fitted for a Disney-supplied head scarf – but Disney never told her when it would be finished.
Boudlal wore her own hijab to work for the first time Sunday.
‘After these two months and this complicated process, she decided to come forward,’ Qazi said.
‘She really wanted to be able to wear it on Ramadan.’