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Altercation at New York amusement park after Muslim women banned from rides for wearing headscarves


Altercation at New York amusement park after Muslim women banned from rides for wearing headscarves

A New York amusement park was temporarily shut down Tuesday after a large-scale altercation erupted between Muslim patrons and park rangers over a disagreement on headgear rules.

Muslim women in a tour group at Rye Playland in Westchester County were reportedly denied access to several rides because they were wearing hijabs – their traditional headscarves, MyFoxNY reports.

“Our headgear policy is designed to protect the safety of patrons and safety is our first concern,” said Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia. “This policy was repeatedly articulated to the tour operator, but unfortunately the message did not reach some of the members of his group.”

The altercation began when park officials offered refunds and members of the Muslim group got in a scuffle, Tartaglia told The Journal News. Two park rangers were injured when they jumped in to break it up, he said, and were taken to local hospitals.

Dozens of police vehicles from nine agencies then rushed to the park, where officers arrested 15 people – mostly for disorderly conduct, authorities said. The disturbance involved around 30 to 40 people.

All other visitors were not allowed into the park between 4 and 6 p.m. ET, with exit ramps from I-95 closed as well.

The tour group – the Muslim American Society of New York – was at the park to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, MyFoxNY reports.

“Everybody got mad, everybody got upset,” Amr Khater, a Brooklyn resident, told The Journal News. “It’s our holiday. Why would you do this to us?” Khater said park rangers notified him of the headgear rules upon arrival.

Fox News, 30 August 2011

The Journal News reports: “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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  • Johnny K

    Thank you Talisman for providing every commenter here with some perspective. This incident makes Muslims look bad no matter how you look at it. If I’m CAIR I’d stay away from defending these people – it would be a PR nightmare.

    Of course security had no right to act the way it did but I highly doubt that this mess was created because someone asked for a refund. It just seems illogical to me. Clearly some people had a hot head and decided to create a whole national story over a small dispute. There is no excuse for being confrontational or rude to cops. This is a lose-lose situation. Also some commenters seriously need to stop claiming that Playland is bigoted. It makes you look stupid to the rest of us.

    I’ve been to similar events during Eid at Long Island, Coney Island and New Jersey when I was younger. My memories have all been positive. I remember being at Coney Island at the dead of winter during Eid when I was 14 years old. I never ran into trouble with the amusement park operators and I don’t know anybody who has. Obviously, Playland was nice enough to accomodate many Muslims during Eid. I see no reason to believe that the park was racist towards Muslims. As a matter a fact such a premise is bullshit and whomever believes otherwise is just being stubborn.

    If Playland was indeed racist why would they only discriminate towards Muslim women wearing the hijab. If Playland hated Muslims, wouldn’t they have just banned them all together from setting up group events during Eid. From what I have read, the headscarf and hat rule has been in place for three years. Did the organizer not notice this? Something tells me some people were discontent over the whole situation and decided to shift the blame to Playland. People need to really think about this rationally. If Playland was ever brought to court over allegations of racism the judge would probably laugh and throw the lawsuit out the window. This is why the victims are making Muslims look like a joke by saying Playland is run by racists. If Muslim men and Muslim women (who didn’t wear the hijab) participated in events that day, how could you assert that the park is racist towards a select group of Muslim women. It makes no sense at all. The evidence just isn’t there.

    Those of you writing 4 paragraph comments saying Playland specifically put something in their rules 3 years ago to discriminate towards Muslim women are insane. You really sound no different than Robert Spencer claiming all Egyptian protesters were from the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Like I stated, CAIR should stay out of this just so this story could stay out of national headlines. Great organizations like the NAACP are always fed false claims of racism when someone does something wrong. It often makes the NAACP look naive in the national media – although I’m sure their intentions are good. CAIR can’t make the mistake of blindly defending these people until the total truth comes out. And no, a 5 second video of the aftermath of a confrontation isn’t enough proof to make a determination of what happened. Their needs to be undisputed proof that only one party was at fault in this incident. As far as I’m concerned, BOTH sides acted immaturely and BOTH deserve equal blame and NONE of them should defend their side. Its a lost cause. This occurrence doesn’t represent Muslims or law enforcement. Move along and concern yourselves with things more important than a dumb rollercoaster ride.

  • I think he’s bob, he won’t deny it so it must be true. Not that it matters, same crap different day as the saying goes.

  • AJ

    BTW we always hear the argument that Muslims should check in their customs before entering the US of A.

    Did the white Christians check in their customs before entering the US of A?

    I mean did they start wearing native Indian clothing or start living in wigwams or did they give up their Christianity or stop building churches or start worshipping the Great Spirit when they came to the US of A?

  • AJ

    Nassirh, perhaps you are right.

    I just like GOB better than BOB. That guy was just a zombie liar; he would never show any emotion, too chilled and calculating.

  • NassirH

    GOB is undoubtedly Bob. I don’t know of anyone else willing to utilize such childish arguments—apparently the words of three commentators who clearly observed dragging is ignored because to little Bob (using the phrases “to me” and “I think” to emphasize the unique nature of his delusions) doesn’t want to accept facts. His attempts to lengthen his comments with inanity to hide that fact that he’s simply repeating himself is also characteristic of little Bob.

    Also note that, as usual, he’s willing to change his arguments very quickly. When I showed him that his statement was wrong (as evidenced by the sentence he himself quoted), he simply wrote another windy screed making more excuses.

  • AJ

    I don’t think GOB is BOB.

    GOB seems more logical and is not a “shifting goalposts type of a liar” that BOB was. Makes me wonder though where BOB went? Hey BOB, you doing ok?

    BTW GOB here is a question for you?

    Would you allow a Muslim woman to wear a hijab if its proven to you that the hijab worn is of a type (imagine a sport hijab) that will

    a) not be a strangulation hazard and
    b) not be a flying debris hazard

    Would you consider this request for respecting a person’s faith but not out of compromising on anyone’s safety?

    What will be your answer?

  • GoOverBoard

    Several people have already commented on what was clearly to dragging but he’s still attempting to deny the obvious.

    There is no footage I saw in the video where someone is on the ground and then taken and dragged. I saw several people needed to tackle one person in the heat of a confrontation with police officers. I think it speaks volumes for how willing you are to deceive when you originally said the suspect in the video was dragged while they were on the ground. No such action is recorded in the video.

    Another eyewitness not with the group says she heard one female police officer yell, ‘I don’t give a f*ck about your culture.’”

    Let’s see the context of that quote. If Muslims were attacking police officers and workers at the amusement park over slights of honor and using this as an excuse for their behavior, I could completely see someone making an off the cuff remark that ‘they didn’t give a damn about their excuses’.

    I know if someone attacked me and said they were attacking me because they were poor, I would probably have said the exact same thing as the female police officer is alleged to have said. Do I need sensitivity training is context here key?

  • NassirH

    It’s hard to tell whether “GoOverBoard” (who formerly called himself JihadBob, JustBob, JengaBob, and so on) is being delusional or dishonest. Several people have already commented on what was clearly to dragging but he’s still attempting to deny the obvious.

    “Yes, it’s called momentum.”

    Yes, it’s called a weak argument—something Islamophobic crazies such as yourself are quite fond of. Of course you later concede that their was pulling along with pushing, all while filling your comments with phrases like “I think” and “to me” (indicative of the fact that you know that no one is buying your weak excuses).

    “Yes, I’m sure her side of the story is a completely faithful retelling of the real events, without any spin, distortion or selective memory of one of the woman apparently arrested.”

    And your immense stupidity resounds again. Even the sentence you quoted in order to make a “response” to refutes you assertion: “Another eyewitness not with the group says she heard one female police officer yell, ‘I don’t give a f*ck about your culture.’”

  • There are Muslim police officers right here in the US of A.

    My point is, since you can’t seem to follow logic GOober, that the religious persuasion of the officers isn’t the issue. The issue is the biased action against the minority group.

    Furthermore, what part of “Another eyewitness not with the group” do you not understand? She’s not WITH the group. Therefore, she’s a witness. She hasn’t been discredited so we of course need to consider her testimony.

  • GoOverBoard

    Uh huh. That’s right. Because, when substituting, Muslims can be substituted for authority figures. We know that CreepingSharia® is happening AS WE SPEAK and soon the Moozlims will be in authority any way.

    Are you seriously this dumb? Are you not aware of Muslim majority countries in existence today? They have Muslim police officers and Christian/non-Muslim minority populations. Do you know what mental exercises and analogies are? And I have no idea where you thought I said or implied discrimination against Christians by Muslims were acts of ‘Islamophobia’.

  • Jack

    Nassir H; Seems to me some security people and coppers lost track of their professionalism, and started acting on what they were taught by Fox News.

    Wham! This is for 9/11!

    Bam! And this is for Ford Hood!

    Whack! And this is for trying to impose shariah!

    Thunk! And this is for being an uppity raghead in the first place!

    Oh, wait… I’m sure the police are well above such things.

  • GoOverBoard

    Yawn…is that the best you can do? All of a sudden dragging doesn’t mean dragging anymore.

    No tackling, which is what we saw in the video, doesn’t mean dragging.

    Yet several officers were clearly pulling someone several feet across the ground against their will

    Yes, it’s called momentum. I also saw more pushing than pulling to bring the suspect completely to the ground to make a proper arrest. Suspects aren’t usually handcuffed whilst on their knees. Does this really need to be explained to you? I think what’s really revealing in the video is how much force the suspect was applying against the officers, clearly indicating why so many police were needed to subdue the suspect.

    Another eyewitness not with the group says she heard one female police officer yell, ‘I don’t give a f*ck about your culture.’”

    Yes, I’m sure her side of the story is a completely faithful retelling of the real events, without any spin, distortion or selective memory of one of the woman apparently arrested.

  • Please, Do you think GOoBer cares about facts?

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