New York

An amusement park near New York refused entry to a group of Muslim women to sit on certain rides unless they removed their alt39 hijabsalt39, a move which led to a scuffle and arrest of at least 15 people, PTI reports.

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p> The scuffle at the amusement park at Rye led to the complex being shut down temporarily.

The women had come to the park as part of a trip organised by the Muslim American Society of New York to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

About 3,000 people were expected to be part of the group, travelling from New York City, as well as surrounding suburbs like Yonkers and parts of Long Island.

Events took a turn for the worse when some female members of the group, wearing head scarves, were told they could not get on certain rides because their heads were covered by the hijab. A park supervisor also presented a list of rides that would require the women to remove their scarves.

Commissioner of the Westchester County Parks Department Kathleen Oalt39- Connor said the group became ” frustrated as they couldnalt39t get on the rides”. According to park officials, disappointed customers were offered a refund when about 20 members of the group started fighting. Some members of the group said the fight began when a park employee touched a Muslim woman.

The departments deputy commissioner Peter Tartaglia said a couple of park rangers intervened when the group members began pushing and shoving.

One ranger sustained an injured shoulder and the other an injured knee.

Fifteen men and women were arrested and charged after the scuffle, county officials said, without specifying whether all of them were members of the tour group. County officials said the women were asked to remove their head scarves under the parks safety policy and that the organisers had been warned about it.

BUT LAW TO FACILITATE SIKH EMPLOYEES

Sikhs in New York will be allowed to wear turbans and grow beards in federal agencies like the police department and transit authority after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today signed into law a bill that will ensure freedom for employees to practice religious beliefs at workplace, PTI reports. The alt39 Workplace Religious Freedomalt39 bill was initiated by civil rights group Sikh Coalition and sponsored by Queens Democrat Council member Mark Weprin. In signing the law, Bloomberg said employers must make a ” reasonable accommodation” for an employees religious practices unless following such practises creates an ” undue hardship.” The undue hardship is now defined as requiring ” significant expense or difficulty.”

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