Women accuse Belmont Park of discrimination

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 00:17:26-04

Two women have filed a complaint against the Belmont Park amusement park in Mission Beach, claiming they are victims of discrimination.

The women claim they were kicked off the Beach Blaster ride during a September 2015 visit because they were wearing Muslim head coverings known as hijabs.

While the ride has a sign that prohibits loose articles, the women maintain they have been on the ride before with their hijabs on. They also say the fabric is not loose enough to get caught in the ride.

The women added that they have been to other theme parks and have been able to wear their hijabs.

The women said they offered to tuck in their hijabs or sign waivers, but they were told no.

One of the women said, "We felt like we were being isolated. We felt as if we weren't Americans."

A Belmont Park spokesperson said the situation is a safety issue and not discrimination.

A member of the Council on American Islam Relations said the rule needs to be more specific, adding, "Is there a sign that says if you have a scarf, is that allowed? If you're wearing a hoodie... what is the definition? Is that left to essentially employees that can discriminate?"

The women filed the complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, saying they want to be allowed to ride while wearing their hijabs.