A Muslim woman has been told ‘not to bother’ applying for a job at a jewellery store in New Zealand after she refused to take off her Islamic headscarf.
Twenty five year old Mona Alfadli was applying for a retail assistant position at a New Lynn Stewart Dawsons shop in early July when staff told her it was a ‘waste of time’ if she did not remove her hijab.
"I felt embarrassed as it took a lot of courage to walk into the shop and speak to the manager regarding a job, especially since I was afraid of the rejection," she told the newspaper.
"I can do any job, I don't mind, but I will keep my hijab, I will keep my identity, and respect my culture and my religion,” added Alfadli, whose family migrated to New Zealand from Kuwait in 2008.
The incident comes just nine months after another Muslim woman, former Kelston Girls College deputy head Fatima Mohammadi, was refused a position at the jeweller’s branch in Henderson for the same reason. However, Mohammadi was later offered a ‘summer job’ at the brand’s St Luke’s branch.
Both shops are owned by the James Pascoe Group, which has issued a warning to its staff that discrimination will not be tolerated.
Group chief financial officer at Stewart Dawsons group, Kevin Turner, said he was "devastated" to learn about Alfadli’s case.
"The manager in question is new to the company, so she hadn't been with us for very long. Having said that she should have known better, she was not following company policy. We are taking this absolutely seriously, it's not okay and we will be following it up in the appropriate manner," he said, adding that the company would apologised to Alfadli and ‘welcome the opportunity to interview her.’
Discrimination against a person on the basis of their religious clothing is prohibited unless there are significant health and safety reasons, according to the 1993 Human Rights Act.
Source: Arabian Business