Soaliha Iqbal (photo) claims that she was forbidden from entering the premises after she had refused to remove her hijab
A Muslim woman has accused a popular pub in Sydney of discrimination and claims that she has been denied access unless she has removed her headscarf.
Soaliha Iqbal said she was standing in line with friends to enter the Paragon Hotel in Circular Quay for dinner after attending a protest against climate change in the Sydney CBD on Friday night.
The 21-year-old journalism student claims that a bouncer from the hotel demanded that she take off her religious veil to enter the site.
Paragon Hotel did not respond to repeated requests for comment when it was accessed by Daily Mail Australia.
When she refused to remove her hijab, Mrs. Iqbal claims that the bouncer told her to "step aside," causing her to be & # 39; humiliated & # 39 ;, furious and in tears.
& # 39; Before viewing my ID, pointed the security at my head and said: & # 39; take that off & # 39;, & # 39; Mrs. Iqbal told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; I didn't respond initially because I was a bit shocked by the whole thing. He said again: & # 39; & # 39; Get it from & # 39; & # 39 ;, & # 39; & # 39; what is it? & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; Get it out & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Mrs. Iqbal (photo) said she felt she was being discriminated against and that she was not welcome in her own city. & # 39; I still felt that I was being treated this way because I am wearing a hijab, & # 39; she said
"At that moment I thought" "what's wrong?" I was so shocked and angry. I responded with: & # 39; & # 39; Are you serious? This is my hijab & # 39; & # 39 ;. & # 39;
Ms. Iqbal claims that the bouncer & # 39; immediately defensive & # 39; before he told her to step aside.
& # 39; You react excessively, you have to calm down, & # 39; said the bounder to Mrs. Iqbal, she claimed.
Mrs. Iqbal said: & # 39; There was no dialogue, the first was & # 39; & # 39; take it off & # 39; & # 39 ;. When I did not respond in a compliant manner, I was told to move aside.
& # 39; I swore and walked away and cried a little because I didn't know what to do. & # 39;
The student said she & # 39; did not know how to handle it & # 39; and decided to leave the entrance.
& # 39; It was really disturbing because you didn't expect that at all. Especially if you've had a good day and you're surrounded by your friends, & she said.
& # 39; I wanted to leave, but I had some friends who said: & # 39; this is outrageous, unacceptable and we must say something & # 39;. & # 39;
Mrs. Iqbal and her friends then tried to approach the entry to make a formal complaint to management.
But when the group was outside the room, they were approached by a police officer.
The images show that Mrs. Iqbal (on the right) is arguing with a hotel manager after she has been denied access
Mrs. Iqbal said the group explained the fight to the officer, but was encouraged to come along & # 39 ;.
The officer cited the NSW Liquor Act, whereby people were not allowed access to a licensed building within 50 meters of the facility.
She said her friends were not denied access.
Mrs. Iqbal describes her experience in a story for 5why.com.au, where she claims that her group & # 39; victim-embarrassed & # 39; was by the police who attended the building.
She said the police were the & # 39; middle man & # 39; tried to play and told her & # 39; there are two sides to each story & # 39 ;.
The article contains images of Mrs. Iqbal and her friends who demand answers from a hotel manager or the site had an anti-hijab policy, to which he says he cannot comment.
Mrs. Iqbal said the manager is in & # 39; circles & # 39; went around and his explanation & # 39; meaningless & # 39; used to be. She claims that he refused to apologize.
The young writer went to social media on Friday evening to describe her traumatic experience
Screenshots show Paragon's response to Mrs. Iqbal's Facebook post
& # 39; If it were only a misunderstanding, would management persuade itself to apologize? Is it really worth the PR nightmare that could follow ?, & Mrs. Iqbal wrote.
The article also includes screenshots of messages that claim to have come from the group's group operations that afterwards apologize for the & # 39; unfortunate incident & # 39 ;, saying it was the first bouncer team at the hotel to his new bosses wanted to show that he could carry out his duties diligently.
The manager claimed there was a misunderstanding and the bouncer asked to remove her to remove the hijab for ID purposes only.
& # 39; We would never demand such a request and apologize for his mistake and we absolutely did not want to offend you & # 39 ;, says a screenshot of the message sent from the pub's Facebook page.
Ms. Iqbal said about the ordeal that she is disappointed that she was forced to justify her position.
Soaliha Iqbal (photo) claims that she was accused by the Paragon Hotel and the NSW Police of overreacting
Paragon police are seen during the incident. The officers were close by for climate change
& # 39; I am frustrated that everyone asks me about the bouncer and nobody really wonders why the bouncer has upset me in the first place, & # 39; she said.
Mrs. Iqbal said she has experienced Islamophobia in Australia in the past, but not on this scale.
& # 39; I have never been treated this way by an establishment in my life & # 39 ;, she said.
& # 39; I have never had a company that is Islamophobic to me. & # 39;
The 21-year-old said that the establishment has yet to apologize and that she is scratching her head about the meeting and how it escalated.
& # 39; I have not spoken to the bouncer since. Maybe he really misunderstood in some bizarre way. I don't know, & she said.
The young woman claimed that she & # 39; victim-embarrassed & # 39; was by the police (photo questioned hotel staff)
& # 39; And that is part of the problem. I don't understand why nobody really explained what happened and apologized.
& # 39; I still felt discriminated against, I still didn't feel welcome in my own city. I still felt that I was treated this way because I am wearing a hijab.
& # 39; If I had not been there with a group of friends who were angry on my behalf, I would probably have gone home and cried. & # 39;
Mrs. Iqbal said it was disturbing that the incident was not resolved immediately.
& # 39; There was no apology and no attempt to actually correct the problem, apart from constantly relieving me by telling me that I just & # 39; overreact & # 39; and & # 39; emotional & # 39; ben, & # 39; she claimed.
She added that the incident & # 39; sexist & # 39; used to be.
Mrs. Iqbal hoped to enjoy dinner at the Paragon Hotel when she was denied entry
A spokesperson for the NSW Police said that agents from Daily Mail Australia attended the licensed premise & # 39; after an interaction between a private security guard and a group of people & # 39 ;.
The officers were close by for climate change.
& # 39; The police were satisfied that there was no criminal activity and advised the group about filing a formal complaint & # 39 ;, said the spokesperson.
& # 39; The police stayed at the location to prevent any breach of peace. The group later spread without incident. & # 39;
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