Zara Faces Criticism After a Paris Store Refused Entrance to a Muslim Woman

Zara, the Spanish retailer of fast fashion, is under fire after a video emerged showing an employee of a Paris-based store refusing entrance to a woman wearing a hijab. The man in the video tells her that people with any head coverings, including hats and hoodies, aren’t allowed in the store.

According to the website Complex, the woman asks if she can shop with a veil instead. The Zara employee responds, “If things change, they’ll change, but I don’t make the rules.” It’s a troubling video, particularly in the wake of the Paris attacks, where Muslims have seen a quick call to restrict their rights.

Though Zara has yet to formally issue an apology, yesterday the company fired two employees responsible for the incident. The company has also responded to a number of comments on their Facebook page calling for a boycott of the company. In response to one call for a boycott, Zara’s social media team wrote:

“Our Country Head in France has personally contacted this customer to apologise for the incident and to express our utter disagreement with such actions, which are completely opposite to the principles of our Company. Both the security staff and the store manager have been sanctioned.”


Other responses from the company reiterated their commitment diversity and reassured customers that hijabs “are very welcome and any information contradicting this is absolutely not in line with Zara’s diversity policy.”

Zara has a rather shaky history of discriminatory practices. On the heels of a $40 million discrimination lawsuit, a June 2015 report found that the company had a culture of racial profiling and internal discrimination.

It’s worth remembering that this is all from the same company who sold a children’s t-shirt that bore a strong resemblance to a concentration camp uniform and had to withdraw a bunch of handbags with swastikas embroidered on them.

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Ginger Is A Construct

It’s terrifying to me that Islamaphobia has become even more pervasive and seemingly normalized in the past week. I live in a city with a massive Middle Eastern population, many Muslim students attend the high school where my SO teaches. He got a heart breaking email from one last night saying he would be seeing a new face in class because she has decided to stop wearing her hijab. She was worried he wouldn’t recognize her. They talked about it today and apparently she made the decision with her parents after 1) a woman SPIT ON HER MOTHER in a grocery store because she was wearing a hijab and 2) the student was out with a bunch of other students and her date on the way to a formal dance at the high school and the waiter at the restaurant was bringing everyone else their orders and extra things and being really polite, and was stone cold rude to her.

I can’t IMAGINE the shitstorm that wold ensue if a single Christians in this country was spit on for wearing a crucifix or one of those dowdy Duggar skirts.