Melee at Theme Park Over Muslim Headscarf - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-31-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
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Melee at Theme Park Over Muslim Headscarf

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A melee broke out Tuesday afternoon at Playland Amusement Park when Muslim visitors became angry that the park was enforcing its ban on headgear by prohibiting the women from wearing their traditional head coverings on some rides.
Police from at least nine agencies converged on the park beginning at 3 p.m. after county police sought assistance in responding to the disturbance, which involved 30 to 40 people.

Two rangers were injured while breaking up a fight between visitors, and two visitors were charged with felony assault, police said. Another 13 people were arrested, most charged with disorderly conduct. Names were not disclosed, and all those charged were released by Tuesday night.

One of the rangers suffered an injured knee and the other an injured shoulder, said Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia.

The park was crowded with Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, one of Islam’s two major holidays. Most were from community groups in Westchester and New York City as part of a daylong event arranged by the Muslim American Society of New York.
“It’s unfortunate because everybody just wants to be home with their families today,” said Zead Ramadan of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Parks officials “painstakingly” told the organizer about the headgear ban, said Tartaglia. But he said that the rules might not have been communicated by the organizer to some attendees.

Three accidents on Playland rides that killed two children and a park worker between 2004 and 2007 were unrelated to clothing the victims were wearing. But the headgear ban was among safety rules that went into effect after those deaths.

“It’s a safety issue on rides. If it’s a scarf, you could choke,” Tartaglia said.

Accounts of what happened varied, but everyone agreed the dispute began after parkgoers were told the headgear ban applied to women wearing traditional Muslim head coverings, known as hijabs.

Tartaglia said once word of that got out there were “a lot of unhappy people.”
Tartaglia said park officials were in the process of arranging refunds when members of the Muslim group got into a scuffle with each other.
Ramadan said he could see both sides.



“The people feel like victims, and the police feel like they were just doing their jobs,” Ramadan said. “Personally I think things got a little out of control on both sides.”
Lola Ali, 16, of Astoria said she witnessed a group of girls and women wearing hijabs go to park security to confront them about the headgear issue.

She said the women were upset and yelling. She said the security officers started pushing them away and the girls stood their ground, at which point the security officers grabbed them, pushed them to the ground and handcuffed them.
Men within the park saw this and tried to intervene, Ali said, and the situation went downhill from there.

“They were beating down the girls, then they started beating down the guys,” she said of the security officers.

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Playland’s policies, posted on its website, include: “All items and clothing must be appropriately secured while on a ride; some smaller items can be stored/secured in cargo pockets or waist pouches. Hats must be secured, and jackets/sweaters must be worn properly and not around the waist while on a ride. Some rides do not allow backpacks, purses or head gear of any kind.”
Police arrest 15 at Playland in dispute over Muslim headwear | The Journal News | LoHud.com | LoHud.com

I can understand why a theme park would tell Muslim women wearing the hijab they couldn't go on certain rides. Anyone who's ever been to such a place would know that anything loose or even long hair could get tangled in something.

But what's noticeable is the distrust on both sides. The Muslims didn't trust the Park officials, the police were rough with the Muslims. I guess it would take generations for any trust to occur.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:28 PM   #2
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Kind of hard to get a sense of what exactly happened from the article. The eyewitness description of the security officers' response to the women does sound like a clear-cut case of excessive (or at the very least, unnecessary and inappropriate) force on the officers' part, but maybe the officers' recollection of what happened would be different. Also the article notes that the two officers who were injured got hurt breaking up a fight "between visitors," but no details as to what that might've been about. Agreed about the mutual distrust though.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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Kind of hard to get a sense of what exactly happened from the article. The eyewitness description of the security officers' response to the women does sound like a clear-cut case of excessive (or at the very least, unnecessary and inappropriate) force on the officers' part, but maybe the officers' recollection of what happened would be different. Also the article notes that the two officers who were injured got hurt breaking up a fight "between visitors," but no details as to what that might've been about. Agreed about the mutual distrust though.


Agree.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
Kind of hard to get a sense of what exactly happened from the article. The eyewitness description of the security officers' response to the women does sound like a clear-cut case of excessive (or at the very least, unnecessary and inappropriate) force on the officers' part, but maybe the officers' recollection of what happened would be different. Also the article notes that the two officers who were injured got hurt breaking up a fight "between visitors," but no details as to what that might've been about. Agreed about the mutual distrust though.
Exactly. The article notes that the fighting erupted AMONG the Muslim parties, and doesn't mention when this altercation with the police began with the women. It's entirely possible that at that point things had already grown out of control. I'd like to see another article on this to maybe gauge a better timeline.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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Muslim coverings of the head are worn tight, though, this shit isn't going to get caught in a girder at 100 mph.

On the other hand, you have to look at the park's standpoint and they have to do everything possible to prevent injuries (well, litigation resulting from those).

At the end of the day I blame the organizers for not thinking this through, that is if the park took great care to inform them about the ban on headgear repeatedly when they booked the event.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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I got a chuckle out of this bit

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Police from at least nine agencies converged on the park beginning at 3 p.m. after county police sought assistance in responding to the disturbance, which involved 30 to 40 people.

Two rangers were injured while breaking up a fight between visitors, and two visitors were charged with felony assault, police said. Another 13 people were arrested, most charged with disorderly conduct.
It's like two warring gangs both went to the same theme park with the intention of starting a fight
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:11 PM   #7
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Ironically women not wearing their traditional head coverings are prohibited from Muhammad's Chariot and other rides at Six Flags Over Islamabad.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:30 PM   #8
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This isn't a racist comment I'm about to make. I say, let them sign a waiver that they know the rule about the ban on headgear for safety and then let them on the ride. If they die, it's the will of Allah.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:55 AM   #9
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Praise God, Spiderman 9000 the ride is great!!!!
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1131 View Post
Muslim coverings of the head are worn tight, though, this shit isn't going to get caught in a girder at 100 mph.
Not always. I've seen plenty of hijabs where one end hangs loosely while the other half is wrapped around the head. The part that is loose could get caught in a ride.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:10 AM   #11
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Billy Rotten View Post
This isn't a racist comment I'm about to make. I say, let them sign a waiver that they know the rule about the ban on headgear for safety and then let them on the ride. If they die, it's the will of Allah.
I get your point, but it kinda assumes that the only people on the ride are muslim women willing to die on a carnival ride.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:07 PM   #13
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Mother strangled by hijab in freak go-karting accident
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