Disney OKs Religious Headscarf for Chicago Woman

Disneyland reaches agreement with UIC student over religious headscarf

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    This undated handout drawing provided by Disney shows a specially designed headscarf that the company is allowing a Muslim employee to wear at its Southern California park after initially objecting to her religious head covering. The park worked with 22-year-old Noor Abdallah to design a covering to match her costume and meet her religious needs, a Disneyland spokeswoman said. She's been wearing a blue scarf topped with a beret since early this month.

    For 22-year-old Noor Abdallah, getting an internship at Disneyland was a dream come true.

    But she never imagined the headscarf she wears as tradition for Muslim women would become an obstacle to her employment. 

    "It broke my heart a little," Abdallah said to the Chicago Tribune.

    Abdallah, a psychology major, was recruited by Disney on the University of Illinois' Chicago campus earlier this year, according to the Chicago Tribune.  

    When she went to orientation last month, managers were hesitant with her jihab and assigned her to a more secluded stockroom while costume designers came up with a more suitable headscarf, she said.

    But this week, Suzi Brown, a Disneyland spokesperson said the park worked with Abdallah to design a covering to match her costume. Since then, she has been wearing a blue scarf topped with a beret when selling tickets in a resort box office. "I'd really hate to see another person lose the magic behind the Disney characters," she said.

    "Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has a long history of accommodating a variety of religious requests from cast members of all faiths, with more than 200 accommodations made over the last three years and this instance was no different,'' Brown said in a statement.

    The council on American-Islamic Relations says this is the fourth Muslim woman to challenge the theme park's policies this year.