Zara, the Spanish fast-fashion retailer, has come under attack for (apparently) banning women wearing the hijab from their stores. As the story goes, Zara in France decided not to let women wearing the hijab from entering their stores after the Paris terrorist attacks. Take a look at the Facebook post that has gone viral :
As a result, many people are calling for a boycott of Zara’s arguably Islamophobic practice. But before we start venting our outrage, let’s dig a little deeper and find out what the truth is…
Did Zara Ban Women Wearing The Hijab From Their Stores?
The short answer is – NO.
As far as we can ascertain, there has been no blanket ban by Zara at any of their stores on women wearing the hijab.
So That Was A Lie / Hoax?
Not entirely. A lady wearing the hijab was refused entry by a Zara security officer at their Plaisir branch in Paris on the 14th of November 2015. She recorded part of the conversation, which you can view here :
people covering their heads with hats, caps, hoods, etc. are not allowed in the store.
He then adds,
If things change, they’ll change but I don’t make the rules.
Isn’t That Evidence That Zara Banned Women Wearing The Hijab???
No. It appears that the security officer was following orders set by the store manager of the Plaisir branch in Paris. Hence, they were both fired after this incident came to light.
It is instructive to note that no other women, wearing a hijab or otherwise, were turned away at the other 126 Zara stores in France. We would have heard of other incidences if this was a blanket ban by Zara France.
Zara immediately reached out to the lady who was banned from the Plaisir store, and sanctioned both the security officer and the store manager. They later clarified that both were fired from their positions :
Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right
Yes, people in France are stunned and even fearful after the terrorist attacks in Paris. Yes, some may have overreacted, and others may be using the incident to act upon their Islamophobic opinions and/or ignorance. Whether it is justified or not, it is a natural reaction to the horrors of the terrorist attacks that killed 129 people and wounded more than 350 people.
That said, it is NOT RIGHT to exaggerate a single incident and falsely claim that Zara “made a decision in France to ban women wearing the hijab from their stores“. Please remember that lying is a sin in Islam. In fact it is considered the most wicked of crimes. Here are selected quotes from the Quran on lying and making false accusations :
“The curse of Allah be upon him if he should be among the liars.” [Quran 24:7]
“Indeed Allah does not guide one who is a transgressor and a liar.” [Quran 40:28]
“Do not mix the truth with falsehood or conceal the truth while you know [it].” [Quran 2:42]