Spanish clothing brand Zara has been under fire for not allowing a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf to shop at one of its stores in Paris. In a video posted a day after the deadly terror attacks in Paris, footage shows a security guard at the store denying entry to the woman customer who was wearing a hijab – a head scarf worn by Muslim women.
The customer insisted on shopping, but was told that no head gears or coverings were allowed as per the store's policy. "If things change, they'll change, but I don't make the rules," a security guard can be seen telling the woman in the video posted online. He added that the list of items banned inside the store included baseball caps, hats, beanies, ski masks and scarves.
The video was uploaded on the YouTube page of Islam & Infa, a day after the deadly Paris attacks on 13 November. In September 2010, the French government had banned face covering in public. The ban applies to headgear such as masks, helmets and the burqa -- the full-body covering attire of Muslim women. The ban, however, does not apply to a head scarf, or the hijab, like the one worn by the Zara customer.
Later, the Spanish retailer apologised for the incident and said that both the employees who denied entry to the Muslim woman and the store manger were fired. It said that the customer's family has appreciated the company's decision.
"Our country head in France has personally contacted this customer to apologize 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 involved with this specific incident have been sanctioned," Zara said in a public release.
"Zara is a diverse and multicultural company that has employees and customers of many different nationalities, orientations, cultures, languages and beliefs. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination," the statement read.
It added: "Respecting diversity is the key cornerstone of the Inditex Group, which has more than 140,000 employees, constituting a rich variety of cultures and beliefs."