Suing Disneyland: Why Boudlal is Wrong

| August 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

Suing Disneyland:
Why Imane Boudlal is Wrong

photo_Jae_C._Hong_AP

Every month, thousands of immigrants stand together in pledge and become naturalized citizens. With this newfound status come hopes of living the American dream. For Imane Boudlal, that dream may have included partaking in one of America’s favorite pastimes by filing a lawsuit against “The Happiest Place on Earth.” 

Her grievance? Boudlal claims that now as a citizen, she’s aware of her religious freedoms and wishes to wear a headscarf (hijab) to her place of employment at Disneyland’s Storyteller’s Café.

 

But Boudlal’s story and the defense argument of her CAIR-appointed attorney, Ameena Qazi, are riddled with holes and there’s really no other way around it but to directly respond to each claim.

 

 

 

Claim: Boudlal wore her heardscarf in observance of Ramadan.

Qudosi: While many people give up drinking, smoking, and the sort during Ramadan, wearing the hijab in “observance” of Ramadan is totally ridiculous and a complete false act of faith. You either wear the hijab or you don’t – you don’t pick and choose when you’re going to wear it.

 

Boudlal’s request to wear the scarf also came after two years of employment. She said she would take off the scarf for work. Here Boudlal gives her case away. Anyone who believes in wearing the hijab, (a cultural addition that has nothing to do with the faith and isn’t even required per the Quran), does so despite the circumstances. Wearing the hijab isn’t an optional accessory for those who believe in it. If Boudlal believed in it as she now claims, she should have resigned from Disneyland years ago or never have accepted a position – that is, if it was such a matter of conviction as she now claims it is.

 

 

 

Claim: Boudlal believes she was discriminated against because she looks Muslim.

 

Qudosi: Disneyland hires many Muslims, some of whom look Muslim and many non-Muslims who look Muslim as well. There’s no identifier on what “looks” Muslim.  In regards to her scarf, it wasn’t part of the costume and they’ve made adequate accommodations to allow her to cover her hair in a manner that’s still fitting with the costume.;t;/span>

 

Boudlal also decided to wear the scarf after becoming a citizen of learning of her rights. Being a citizen doesn’t alter your rights. The right to religion (as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others) is granted to all. Perhaps Boudlal should have sought an attorney back then to learn of her rights.  But her right to religion doesn’t mean that Disney has to completely compromise its policies in the employment contract Boudlal signed, which includes a section for dress codes.

 

Having worked at Disney like nearly every other So Cal teen at some point, I know that Disney really emphasizes theatrics. The company sees all of Disneyland as a stage, down to even cashiers in a fast food restaurant in some remote corner of the park. Every Disneyland employee is made to understand this and is trained thoroughly.  So even if you work at a café, if you’re interacting with guests, you have be in costume, which includes no funky hair colors, makeup choices, piercings, and certainly no obvious hijab.  It’s called branding – a critical element that gives Disneyland its global appeal.  Boudlal’s already been sent home eight times for refusing to cooperate with the dress code. Most people would have been fired by now; however, Boudlal’s just been taken off the schedule.

 

End of the day, Boudlal is a union puppet, who clearly need the media attention during the ongoing negotiations – and a CAIR pawn, who quickly lap up any excuse to cry victim.

 

Between Boudlal, her attorney Ameena Qazi, and the demonstrators outside the café who rallied and prayed in front of the restaurant, all I know is that Muslims don’t need terrorists to give them a bad name because they’re doing a fantastic job all on their own!

With the insistence on pushing a mosque on sacred Ground Zero, and now suing the “Happiest Place on Earth”, these select Muslims are ensuring that not only are the rest of us seen in a negative light, but that Islamophobes are going to be even more on the offensive now that two American landmarks are under distress courtesy of a a few sorry excuses for Muslims.

 

 

 

 

See related article: The Case for Why Imane Boudlal Should be Fired

Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong | AP

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Category: U.S.

About the Author (Author Profile)

Shireen Qudosi is a Top 10 North American Muslim Reformer. She founded Qudosi Chronicles shortly after 9-11 when she noticed a widespread failure in honest conversations about Islam. Since it’s launch, Qudosi Chronicles has developed a broad and diverse following that has helped spark Muslim reform. Shireen is half Pakistani, half Afghan and a Sufi American Muslim who feels strongly that Islam is fated for an evolutionary leap in consciousness. And that leap is necessary in order for a global world of people to take the next collective step in advancing human dignity and excellence.

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