The world is a discriminatory place for hijabis. Both at home and abroad, they are often denied or dismissed from jobs as no-hijab policies in the workplace are common. In companies in the West, these policies seem to be more linked to Islamophobia than anything else.
In a recent case of this kind, a Muslim worker in a fast-food chain in the U.S. was kicked out of the workplace after turning up to work in a hijab. In a video posted on Twitter, Folake Adebola exposes her boss' reaction to her head covering in a 45-second clip at a Chicken Express restaurant in Fort Worth, Dallas.
In her confrontation with her boss, the woman said: "It's a part of my religion. I felt like if I work here y'all could be able to (accommodate) my religion."
Her boss showed little sympathy and understanding, saying the hijab "is a different thing ... that's a part of your personal life out there."
The woman has said that she converted to Islam in August and wasn't wearing the hijab when she first started working at the fast-food restaurant.
Her boss, however, insisted that asking her to not wear her hijab has "nothing to do with religion" and that it is simply "not part of the uniform." Who knew the freedom of religious expression would be compromised under the pretext of a dress code?
"The job requires a specific uniform. That is not part of the specific uniform. 'You as a paid employee cannot wear it,'" the man said.
Many organizations lack regulations that protect hijabis from discrimination, subjecting the latter to more incidents of this kind. Employers seem to be broadening the rift with such discriminatory decisions, rather than nurturing acceptance and promoting diversity in the workplace.
Highly qualified professionals continue to be dismissed opportunities because of the way they choose to express their personal beliefs.