'Brawl' Erupts When Hijab-Clad Women Turned Away From Amusement Park

Fifteen people were arrested in a "melee" that occurred at a Rye, New York amusement park after a group of Muslim women were denied entrance to some rides because of safety regulations banning any kind of headgear.

The park insisted that it had told the tour operator of the rules, but that may not have been conveyed to the 3,000 Muslim Society of New York members who came on an organized trip to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitre, a major holiday.

Most of the people were charged with disorderly conduct, though two people were charged with felony assault. According to the Westchester Journal News, two rangers were injured while breaking up a fight. But as the video above shows, the visitors saw major overreaction and escalation by law enforcement, some it caught on cell phone video. Here's an account from 16-year-old Lola Ali:

She said the women were upset and yelling. She said the security officers started pushing them away and the girls stood their ground, at which point the security officers grabbed them, pushed them to the ground and handcuffed them.

Men within the park saw this and tried to intervene, Ali said, and the situation went downhill from there.

"They were beating down the girls, then they started beating down the guys," she said of the security officers.


A cashier at the park told The Journal News that a hijab-clad woman pushed or hit or a ride operator, and when a police officer "tried to restrain" the woman, her husband objected and another fight began.

Fifteen Arrested In Playland Melee Over Headscarves [Journal News]
Ramadan Head Scarf Brawl Erupts At Rye Playland [NYP]

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Lucky Frog

I don't know if it's the case here, but you might be surprised how many minor situations get blown completely out of control by bad security that doesn't know how to deal with people. I think some of them really think it's their job to run up and dump gasoline on fires instead of water. A couple weeks back, some friends and I were out at a nightclub when one of us went out on the dance floor with a drink in hand. One of bar security's basic jobs is being like, "can't stand there, can't take glass outside, can't block the exits, etc. etc," but that guy flipped the fuck out and bounced him and our entire group. The situation was way too ridiculous to start any drama, and there were plenty of other places for us to drink at, but security was so weirdly confrontational and aggressive that I became genuinely pissed about being thrown out of some shitty club I didn't particularly want to be at in the first place. One of the regulars was outside smoking as we left, and she said that after he started working there, fights and drama had suddenly gone through the roof, and the cops were out there every weekend. Go figure.