This article has been translated by us within TELL MAMA and reproduced from the web-site of Collectif Contre L’Islamophobe en France.
An employee working for Primark for four months regularly went to work with her veil on and never had a problem before. In recent months, she was required to remove her veil before entering the store, a policy with which she refused to comply. One of her colleagues contacted CCIF for the same problem.
What is the reason for this change? The employee discriminated explained that difficulties around veiling were connected with a change of management to a French team. The store was previously run by foreigners. Is Islamophobia becoming a specifically French problem?
This is not the first time that Primark has shown signs of Islamophobia. According to our figures, the store is the only one to refuse clients in niqabs. On this subject, two women also contacted us about this same issue this August. They were refused entry into the store under the pretext that they did not comply with the store’s code of conduct [“charte de l’etablissement”]. For one of them, the manager on duty asked the police to intervene to check her identity, but this passed without incident.
In spite of this, the manager refused to let the woman in the niqab in the store. This attitude has nothing to do with security measures; on top of all this, the manager asked the police to escort the women out of the store discretely. This discretion was intended not to upset customers, a majority of whom are Muslim, who are not aware that Primark has prohibited the niqab.
Primark would do well to review its corporate polices if it doesn’t want to lose customers. Recall that private enterprises are not immune to the law that guarantees freedom of religion of its workforce and this type of abuse is intolerable.