Green Room

Muslim Bullying At the Happiest Place On Earth

posted at 5:50 pm on August 28, 2010 by

Originally posted at David Horowitz’s Newsreal:

A Muslim Disneyland Resort hotel employee, Imane Boudlal, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over Disney’s refusal to let her wear a hijab in front of customers. Now, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is involved, and they’re crying religious discrimination. But is it? Unfortunately for CAIR and Boudlal, the case isn’t quite so cut and dried. This seems to be yet another case of Muslim bullying, this time at the happiest place on Earth.

Boudlal, and her extremist friends at CAIR, are busily spinning the truth about her employment with Disney to try to bully the company into accommodating sharia. The truth is that Disney has tried to work with Boudlal, and every time, she refused.

A Muslim employee is refusing to wear a hat and bonnet that Disney provided in place of a head scarf, which she wants to leave on at work for religious reasons.

Imane Boudlal, a restaurant hostess at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, last week in a press conference accused Disney of religious discrimination for refusing to let her wear a hijab, a head scarf, in public view.

On Monday, Disney offered Boudlal a bonnet with a hat to wear at work in public.

Boudlal rejected the new headwear and went home for a seventh time, according to the hotel workers’ union, Unite Here Local 11. Disney has offered to let her work behind the scenes with the head scarf, but Boudlal has refused.

“The hat makes a joke of me and my religion, and draws even more attention to me,” Boudlal said in a prepared statement. “It’s unacceptable.”

Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, said managers are still trying to meet Boudlal’s request after providing options, including alternative costumes. The company also offered her four different jobs that would allow her to wear her own head scarf.

“We provided Ms. Boudlal with several options, including a modified costume that includes a blouse with a higher neckline and a newly designed head covering that meets our costuming guidelines and which we believe provides a reasonable accommodation of Ms. Boudal’s religious beliefs,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

Boudlal could not immediately be reached for further comment. Her attorney also could not be reached.

So Disney does everything they can to work with Boudlal, to keep her as an employee without making her compromise her religious values. They gave her alternate costuming, they offered her a job backstage, and yet everything they offered, she refused. Now she’s suing Disney and filing a complaint against them. And we’re supposed to find Boudlal at the victim here?

It used to be the case that in America, a business could be run however the owner saw fit. In today’s politically correct world, that’s apparently no longer the case. Let’s take the obvious example: Disney. Disney looks at their entire operation as a “show”, and as such, their employees aren’t even called employees. They’re called cast members, and cast members sign a contract upon employment agreeing to adhere to Disney’s incredibly strict dress code. Believe it or not, the dress code has been loosened in recent years; it used to be even stricter than it is now. Until recently, men couldn’t have moustaches and women had to wear pantyhose if they wore shorts or a skirt (imagine that during summertime in Orlando at DisneyWorld). Women can also now have bare arms while at work. Disney even has a dress code for visitors — for paying customers! This is all because there is an image that Disney is trying to uphold of a clean-cut, family-oriented place. It’s also to keep up with the various Disney themes throughout the parks (in Liberty Square at Disney World, for example, cast members wear full colonial costumes, including bonnets, dresses, and petticoats for women). Cast members are not given uniforms, they’re given costumes, and they are required to wear these costumes to keep the Disney look uniform. This would seem to make sense to reasonable people, especially when a cast member works in front of the public. When an employee is hired, they are made aware of the stringent dress code and are expected to comply.

And for two years, Boudlal worked at Disney with no complaint. Then suddenly, she became an American citizen and decided she wanted to start wearing a hijab. What made her change her mind and why was it suddenly so important to her? This obviously goes against the Disney dress code and yet, Disney still tried to accommodate her. There’s a long paper trail of proof of all the different ways Disney tried to make her happy, but she refused every one of them. And now she’s trying to cash in. This isn’t religious discrimination; it’s nothing more than a case of a greedy woman and a scheming organization trying to bully a multi-million dollar company.

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Follow Cassy on Twitter and read more of her work at CassyFiano.com and Hard Corps Wife.

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Comments

They’ve learned the lessons of Jesse Jackson well. Grievance mongering and victim pimping are cash cows to activists.

trubble on August 28, 2010 at 6:38 PM

On more reason for businesses not to hire! These rop type are trying to make our country give in to their faith. If it does not work, get these nasty lawyers involved to see to it we ‘submit’. Daily, we see our Republic submitting to these rop type. I am having a hard time thinking fuzzy thought about them. NYC is a prime example!
L

letget on August 28, 2010 at 6:51 PM

I remember a case not long ago when some guy sued Hooters because he didn’t get a job as a waitress. Did anyone describe the situation as “male bullying at the skankiest place on earth?” Yet here we have one woman, who happens to be of the Islamic faith, filed a discrimination lawsuit and suddenly it’s “Muslim Bullying.”

Stupid lawsuits happen everyday in America. Do you have any evidence that this particular case is a coordinated effort by leading elements in the muslim community? Conservatives believe in individual responsibility. The corollary to that is a rejection of collective guilt. If you have evidence that this is some sort of collective effort to subjugate Disneyland to the dictates of Islam, please present it. Otherwise I’m going to regard this post as crude hate-mongering, motivated by a desire to demonize Muslim-Americans.

year_of_the_dingo on August 28, 2010 at 7:49 PM

This is more common than you would think and Disney has been sued, or as you describe it, bullied, by Sikhs (turbans)and Jews (yarmulkes)in the past but I am not sure what the results were. There are mixed rulings on these cases and the EEOC officially states the ‘corporate look’ defense against such claims is not valid on its own. In this case, Disney protected itself by offering alternative duties but it varies depending on the local state’s employment laws and the nature of the alternatives offered. Rulings in favor of private employers in these disputes where no accommodations are offered are usually based on grounds of safety.

I can’t see that her claim has merit given the various circumstances in the matter already cited. CAIR don’t have the best success rate and usually claims involving clear civil rights breeches have other & multiple sponsors. I would expect Disney’s past experience with such suits would result in their HR & legal departments being versed in how to respond to these situations without harming the company. It’s ironic given that we now have so many claims involving increased modesty since historically cases have tended toward the opposite direction.

lexhamfox on August 28, 2010 at 8:34 PM

If you have evidence that this is some sort of collective effort to subjugate Disneyland to the dictates of Islam, please present it. Otherwise I’m going to regard this post as crude hate-mongering, motivated by a desire to demonize Muslim-Americans.

year_of_the_dingo on August 28, 2010 at 7:49 PM

CAIR’s involvement would seems to be evidence of at least one such effort. I don’t recall the Hooter’s man as having any male groups support his claims. Had a woman done something similar and received the backing of a feminist organization, you’d likely see a similar article title.

You may not find it sufficient evidence to support the title, but it is accurate to say that there is a collective effort here to play the victim card in order to bully an organization.

Esthier on August 29, 2010 at 12:12 AM

I’m not sure what Disneyland was thinking was going to happen eventually on this issue. The reason? They already let women dressed in all kinds of oppressive Muslim dress, almost a full burka.

Blue Collar Todd on August 29, 2010 at 12:15 AM

Perhps Disney should just fire this young woman for stupidity? What part of

cast members sign a contract upon employment agreeing to adhere to Disney’s incredibly strict dress code

was too difficult to comprehend?

katiejane on August 29, 2010 at 10:31 AM

If someone doesn’t like the policies of a company, he or she should be free to leave, boycott, or start a competing company.

He or she should not be able to use the power of the state to force the employer to accommodate behavior that is unacceptable to the company.

Cara C on August 29, 2010 at 11:58 AM

I’m a cast member at the resort…

This is a clear case of ‘Muslim bullying’ because she worked there for TWO YEARS without incident. And she knew full well that themeing trumped religious belief. She’s been immersed in Disneyland culture for two years with a constant bombardment of ‘Disney Look’ standards. With CAIR involved it becomes extremely obvious.

That being said, she’ll get nowhere with this. We don’t have an employment office. We have a casting office. And everybody is ‘cast in a role’ even if it’s cleaning toilets or fixing the rides. We don’t wear uniforms we wear costumes(my costume is a utilitarian gas station attendant looking one). It’s how the company gets around the law in CA that prevents employers from forcing women from wearing skirts to work. There weren’t a lot of women wearing pants in early 1900′s Main Street America.

Oh, and that so called ‘Muslim’ girl has been seen eating bacon quite a few times over the last couple of years by her coworkers. Nice Muslim…

oddjob1138 on August 29, 2010 at 1:24 PM

“The hat makes a joke of me and my religion, and draws even more attention to me,” Boudlal said in a prepared statement.

Oh, I’m sure the last thing she wants is attention.
*facepalm*

itsnotaboutme on August 29, 2010 at 1:30 PM

This is all because there is an image that Disney is trying to uphold of a clean-cut, family-oriented place.

Well, most of the time.

itsnotaboutme on August 29, 2010 at 1:34 PM

I’m pretty sure Disney isn’t government owned, they should be able to have their employees dress however they want them to. If the employee doesn’t like it tough sh!t go find another job.

Alden Pyle on August 29, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Isn’t there a Muslim-Disney equivelent?

Perhaps she can work in the Sbarro Pizza experience.

Why we even attempt to accomodate these people is beyond me, they seek out and cause misery and pain in perpetuity.

It’s just what they do and it’s all they do.

NoDonkey on August 30, 2010 at 6:00 AM

Hey…did they offer her a role as a belly dancer from Arabian Nights?

How could she refuse that position? I mean, it completely expresses her religious views by forcing her to parade around in revealing clothing, shaking her booty, and gyrating suggestively in front of men she is not related to.

Just like old times back in the desert, eh?

Abra Cadabra!

BobMbx on August 30, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Oh, and that so called ‘Muslim’ girl has been seen eating bacon quite a few times over the last couple of years by her coworkers. Nice Muslim…

oddjob1138 on August 29, 2010 at 1:24 PM

I’m Muslim…when it’s convenient to be Muslim.

BobMbx on August 30, 2010 at 9:12 AM

“The hat makes a joke of me and my religion, and draws even more attention to me,” Boudlal said in a prepared statement. “It’s unacceptable.”

Gee, I thought the point was to be covered up, not to be covered up by a specific piece of cloth.

Count to 10 on August 30, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Honestly speaking, we shouldn’t even have laws that make this kind of suit possible.

Count to 10 on August 30, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Thanks, Cassy, for digging out the whole story on this. I’ve heard from family and friends across the country, and all they’re hearing is the story that Disney is simply discriminating against Boudlal.

But I live in the LA area, and the ABC affiliate is, of course, owned by Disney. So viewers in this area have actually had the whole tale since it broke.

Disney should win this one. No question. Employers have the right to enforce dress codes, period. If your religious beliefs conflict with the dress code, go work somewhere else.

I’ve made the same point about religious beliefs when it comes to pharmacy employees not wanting to issue contraception to customers. If it’s pharmacy policy to issue them, then employees need to comply or go elsewhere.

Similarly, if a pharmacy owner doesn’t want to issue contraception, he shouldn’t be required to. It’s his store.

J.E. Dyer on August 30, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I’m sorry but when I see a woman in a burqa I’m immediately reminded of how barbaric islam is towards women. I feel sorry for the woman for a second or two, then I remember this is America where she’s not forced to do cover herself like she is in some of these nations with a medieval mindset, so then I usually roll my eyes at her for being so silly and even taking part in a religion founded by a man who simply DESPISED women.

You’d think feminists would have a field day with islam, just by simply reading some of mohammed’s twisted views on the their sex.

Frankly, I do my best to avoid anyone who think it’s a groovy idea to daily praise a nutjob like mohammed
(PBUH and his murderous ways and his hatred of women, gays, jews, etc)…I certainly wouldn’t want to have that in my face at disney world or anywhere else I pay to get into.

TheBlueSite on August 31, 2010 at 3:31 AM