A Muslim man is taking Butlin’s holiday camp to court claiming racial and religious discrimination, as his daughter was not allowed on a dodgems ride wearing an Islamic scarf covering her head and neck.
Butlin’s insists all loose-fitting garments near the head are banned, after an incident in 2016 when one got caught causing serious neck injury, and say the case has nothing to do with religion or discrimination.
Moammer Nasser, 41, from Birmingham, has launched a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise £10,00 for his lawsuit, and enlisted the help of Liberty Law.
He later claimed his family “weren’t allowed on any rides” and was so distressed they cut their holiday short and returned home. “I feel that my family were discriminated against due to our religious and cultural beliefs,” he wrote.
A Butlin’s spokesman told the Guardian: “Our team are trained not to compromise when it comes to the safety of our guests.
“In this instance, our team member quite rightly put the guest’s welfare first and judged that loose headwear could have caused a risk if caught in moving bumper cars.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 7, 2016
“There was no question of discrimination and any suggestions of this are utterly rejected in the strongest terms.
“We are sorry if the family feel they were badly treated. We explained our policies to them at the time, in writing afterwards and also to the Equality Advisory Support Service, who have told us they are satisfied with the explanation given to them.”
However, Mr. Nasser’s lawyer, Attiq Malik, of Liberty Law, said health and safety concerns were not a satisfactory explanation and it was wrong to stop the Muslim girl going on the ride even if it was dangerous.
He said: “It is of great concern that we may have a situation where whole families are having their holidays ruined and unable to participate in leisure activities because of their cultural or religious dress.
“Whether this is a deliberate act to discriminate against people, or an unfortunate consequence of health and safety policies, it is unsatisfactory and unacceptable.”