A video of a Muslim woman being turned away from a McDonald's restaurant in London sparked outrage on social media earlier this week.
In the footage, the woman is heard asking a security guard standing outside the establishment why she can't go in to place an order, and whether it's because she's wearing a hijab.
His response? "It’s just a matter of taking it off".
According to The Guardian, the British Muslim, a 19-year old student, who asked not to be named, said the incident took place on Thursday in a North London McDonald's.
Speaking to the British publication, she shared details of the incident, explaining that the security guard repeatedly told her to remove her hijab.
When she refused and he kept asking, she decided to film the now-viral video on her phone.
"It's not just a matter of taking it off"
Shocked by what she had just heard, the student responded to the guard saying:
“It’s not just a matter of taking it off. I wear this for religious reasons and I’m not ashamed of it, and I will stand in line and I will get the food I want, because this isn’t OK."
When she angrily added, “this is f***ing ridiculous”, a member of staff told her not to be rude and asked her to stop filming.
Later on in the video, a member of the public is heard intervening, telling the guard that he can't ask the woman to remove her hijab, but he was told that "it was none of his business."
Even though the woman was eventually told she will be served, she walked away telling staff she "didn't want anything anymore".
In her statement to The Guardian, the student reflected on the incident saying:
“I thought: ‘It’s finally happening to me,’ like it has to so many hijabis. It didn’t feel real because I had seen so many videos like this and it was finally happening to me in real life. I was in so much disbelief."
The video left people outraged
"Disgusting and Iniquitous! A woman/girl should NEVER be forced to remove an article of clothing"
"Whatever happened to religious freedom?"
McDonald's issues an apology
Soon after the incident went viral on social media, McDonald's UK issued an apology to the victim and said they had suspended the security guard.
In their statement on the matter, the fast-food chain's managers wrote:
"McDonald's has no policy which restricts or prevents anyone wearing a hijab, or any other religious attire, from entering our restaurants".
"We welcome customers of all faiths and sincerely apologise for this situation. We are taking this matter very seriously and are addressing the situation with the individuals involved; the security guard, from a third-party company, has been suspended," the statement read.