Zara fired employees in France after a woman in a hijab was barred from one of its stores

Fast-fashion retailer Zara has found itself in the midst of controversy after a security guard denied a woman in a hijab entry into one of its French stores.

A video of the event, which occurred in Plaisir, a suburb west of Paris, had spread quickly on social media, provoking outrage and calls for a boycott. The date of the video isn’t clear, but it was uploaded on Nov. 14, the day after the shocking Paris attacks that left at least 129 people dead. In response, Zara confirmed to Agence France-Presse that it fired the store manager and the security guard involved in the incident.


In the video, the security guard reportedly tells the woman that nobody is allowed to enter with their head covered. “If things change, they’ll change, but I don’t make the rules,” he says.

A French law introduced in 2010 prevents anyone from wearing a full face covering in public, but the law doesn’t apply to the hijab, which only covers the hair.

“This type of mentality is unheard of at Zara and there have never been instructions given out to act this way,” Jean-Jacques Salaun, Zara’s head of French stores, told AFP. He also said he apologized to the shopper, and the brand apologized to consumers on Facebook as well.

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Toronto woman assaulted after her scarf is mistaken for hijab

A Toronto woman’s efforts to stay warm ended up giving her a chilling glimpse into Islamophobia after she was assaulted by a man who mistook her scarf for a hijab.

Kayla Gerber, a 24-year-old actress, had just left a rehearsal near Bloor and Bathurst streets on Monday when a man approached her as she walked.

“He told me to take off my f****n hijab and get the f**k out of his country and he just kept repeating that over and over and over again, screaming at me while he had me pinned up against the wall,” she explained.

Gerber, who isn’t Muslim, said she had wrapped her scarf around her head to keep her ears warm.


“I’m remember saying to him that I’m not even wearing a hijab bro and he just kept shaking me and screaming at me to get out of his country and I’m like, ‘I’m not Muslim.’ ”

“I would never think that someone could be so hateful because he didn’t know me, I didn’t know him, he doesn’t know my life.”

Gerber posted about the incident on Facebook and was flooded with messages of support from around the world.

“It’s so beautiful to see positivity come out of negativity,” she added.

It’s the latest in a disturbing string of incidents in the Greater Toronto Area following the deadly terror attacks in Paris.

On Friday police revealed that a minor is being sought for allegedly shoving and accosting two women wearing hijabs at Sherbourne subway station.

On Monday, a Muslim woman was attacked by two men while picking up her child from Grenoble Public School in Flemingdon Park.

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After Paris Attacks, French Muslim Council Calls On France’s 2,500 Mosques To ‘Unambiguously’ Denounce Terror

The largest body representing Muslim organizations in France called on leaders of the 2,500 mosques in the country to condemn “all forms of terrorism” during their sermons Friday and to lead a prayer on behalf of those killed in last week’s violent terrorist attacks. The Grand Mosque in Paris had called for a rally to denounce terrorism, but the demonstration was canceled as the country remained under a state of emergency Friday, Al-Jazeera English reported.

“French Muslims want to proclaim their indestructible attachment to the republican pact and the values which have formed France,” a spokesman for the French Muslim Council told the French newspaper Le Figaro. “We, Muslims of France, can only insist on the need for national unity in opposing this misfortune which has afflicted us and which attacks indiscriminately.”


The calls came after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday led to at least 129 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Supporters of the so-called Islamic State group targeted France’s national stadium, a concert hall and bars and restaurants, armed with AK-47s and grenades and wearing suicide bomb vests. Dalil Boubakeur, a leader of the country’s Grand Mosque, said Friday evening’s attackers should not be called Muslims but rather “barbarians.”

Muslim religious and political leaders across the globe have widely condemned the attacks. Many Muslims fear a backlash following the violence as Muslim civil rights leaders say their communities already have experienced spikes in hate crimes. Past terrorist acts carried out by Muslim extremists have resulted in surges in anti-Muslim discrimination.


Friday’s violence has opened a debate over domestic security and Syrian refugees, as many in Europe and the U.S. fear ISIS militants could slip into their countries with the flow of refugees. More than 30 U.S. state governors have said they are unwilling to accept Syrian refugees within their borders although refugees are rigorously screened. ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq have repeatedly threatened to attack the West.


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