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‘Take that thing off’: Muslim woman told to remove hijab before entering Denver arena, CAIR says

Posted at 8:44 AM, Nov 13, 2019

DENVER — A Muslim civil rights organization is calling for an investigation after they say a Muslim-American woman was told to remove her hijab in order to enter a local arena.

The Colorado chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says Gazella Bensreiti was told by an employee at the Pepsi Center that she needed to remove her headscarf in order to be allowed into the arena.

Bensreiti, a mother of three, was trying to enter the arena to watch her daughter perform the national anthem. An employee at Will Call allegedly told her "take that thing off" or not be allowed entrance, according to CAIR officials.

When Bensreiti asked if she could remove her hijab in private and in front of a woman, but the employee allegedly refused. CAIR then says she was "subjected to public humiliation in front of staff, students and other parents, until her daughter became distraught, believing her mom would not be allowed in to see her perform."

At a news conference scheduled for Wednesday morning, CAIR will also call on Pepsi Center officials to change their policy regarding religious attire of event attendees.

Pepsi Center officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The civil rights organization said they have reported, "an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president."