Where American law and practice conflict with Islamic law and practice, American law and practice have to give way. That is the way it always is. Otherwise, there will be violence. “Police arrest 15 at Playland in dispute over Muslim headwear,” by Rebecca Baker and Jonathan Bandler for LoHud.com, August 30 (thanks to all who sent this in):
RYE “” A large disturbance broke out at Playland Park today when Muslim visitors got angry that the park was enforcing its ban on headgear by prohibiting the women from wearing their traditional head coverings on some rides.
Police from at least nine other agencies converged on the park beginning at 3 p.m. after county police sought assistance in responding to the disturbance, which involved about 30 to 40 people. Twelve men and three women were arrested, mostly for disorderly conduct, and two park rangers were injured, authorities said. Two people were charged with felony assault after, officials said, they attacked park rangers.
The park was crowded with Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, one of Islam’s two major holidays. Most were from community groups around New York City as part of a day-long event arranged by the Muslim American Society of New York.
The Muslim American Society is the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. So it is no surprise that they expected the park to jump to do their bidding and change their policies to suit them.
Parks officials had “painstakingly” told the organizer about the headgear ban, said parks spokesman Peter Tartaglia, but he said that the rules might not have been communicated by the organizer to some attendees. The ban was implemented about four years ago to keep hats and other head coverings from landing on tracks and derailing rides.
“It’s a safety issue on rides. If it’s a scarf, you could choke,–ˆTartaglia said.
Accounts of what had happened varied, but everyone agreed the dispute began after park-goers were told the headgear ban applied to women wearing traditional Muslim head coverings, known as hijabs.
Tartaglia said once word of that got out there were “a lot of unhappy people.”…
Lola Ali, 16, of Astoria said she had witnessed a group of girls and women wearing hijabs go to park security to confront them about the headgear issue.
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.
Earlier, a park cashier told a Journal News reporter that a woman wearing a hijab either pushed or hit a ride operator who forbade her from going on the ride. She said a police officer tried to restrain the woman and the woman’s husband took offense, at which point a multiple-person fight broke out.
The park was never closed to attendees but for a time new visitors were not being allowed in. Crowds were being turned away at Playland Parkway and Forest Avenue. Officials said late in the afternoon that they were slowly reopening the park to new visitors and that the group’s religious ceremony planned for 9 p.m. could still occur….
Brooklyn resident Amr Khater, who had come to the park at about noon with his family, said his family was told about the hijab rule by park employees when they arrived.
“Everybody got mad, everybody got upset,” he said. “It’s our holiday. Why would you do this to us?”…
It’s your holiday. That doesn’t mean you can make Playland bend to your will and change its longstanding safety policies, that were not formulated in order to victimize you.
At 4:30 p.m., more than an hour and a half after the incident started, nearly three dozen cruisers blocked Playland’s entrance and a helicopter was flying overhead. A reporter counted nearly 60 cruisers on the scene from various agencies….
Playland’s policies, posted on its website, include: “All items and clothing must be appropriately secured while on a ride; some smaller items can be stored/secured in cargo pockets or waist pouches. Hats must be secured, and jackets/sweaters must be worn properly and not around the waist while on a ride. Some rides do not allow backpacks, purses or head gear of any kind.”…
Oh, the Islamophobia!