Zara Faces Criticism After a Paris Store Refused Entrance to a Muslim Woman


Zara, the Spanish retailer of fast fashion, is under fire after a video emerged showing an employee of a Paris-based store refusing entrance to a woman wearing a hijab. The man in the video tells her that people with any head coverings, including hats and hoodies, aren’t allowed in the store.

According to the website Complex, the woman asks if she can shop with a veil instead. The Zara employee responds, “If things change, they’ll change, but I don’t make the rules.” It’s a troubling video, particularly in the wake of the Paris attacks, where Muslims have seen a quick call to restrict their rights.

Though Zara has yet to formally issue an apology, yesterday the company fired two employees responsible for the incident. The company has also responded to a number of comments on their Facebook page calling for a boycott of the company. In response to one call for a boycott, Zara’s social media team wrote:

“Our Country Head in France has personally contacted this customer to apologise for the incident and to express our utter disagreement with such actions, which are completely opposite to the principles of our Company. Both the security staff and the store manager have been sanctioned.”

Other responses from the company reiterated their commitment diversity and reassured customers that hijabs “are very welcome and any information contradicting this is absolutely not in line with Zara’s diversity policy.”

Zara has a rather shaky history of discriminatory practices. On the heels of a $40 million discrimination lawsuit, a June 2015 report found that the company had a culture of racial profiling and internal discrimination.

It’s worth remembering that this is all from the same company who sold a children’s t-shirt that bore a strong resemblance to a concentration camp uniform and had to withdraw a bunch of handbags with swastikas embroidered on them.

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