Playland: 15 Arrested as Headscarf Issue Escalates

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photos: Heidi Silverstein

The failure of a tour operator to inform his Muslim-American customers of the county’s longstanding headgear policy for some of the rides at Playland Park resulted in several altercations Tuesday afternoon, according to a press release issued by the County government. Women wearing Muslim hijab were told they could not go on some of the rides.

“Entry was suspended between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in order to restore order at the front entrance after the incident. Over 6,000 patrons attended the park Tuesday, roughly 3,000 of whom were part of the Muslim tour group,” it said.

“The tour operator, The Muslim American Society of New York, had been notified well in advance of today’s event—numerous times both in writing and verbally—the county’s policy on headgear for certain rides at the amusement park. The incident erupted when some of the women tried to gain entry on rides that prohibit any kind of headwear, such as hats, scarves and flowing material, which would include Hijabs, the traditional head-covering for Muslim women.”

15 Muslim patrons from New York City were arrested and charged by Rye Police..

“This misunderstanding was very unfortunate,” said Peter Tartaglia, Deputy Parks Commissioner. “Our headgear policy is designed to protect the safety of patrons and safety is our first concern. This policy was repeatedly articulated to the tour operator, but unfortunately the message did not reach some of the members of his group.”

No word yet from the Muslim group.

Story in the New York Times.

 

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