California amusement park bans Muslim headscarf on go-karts

Muslims, Sikhs protesting against move after management said it was 'dangerous'

(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

A group of Muslims and Sikhs in California is protesting against an amusement park’s ban on headgear including the Muslim hijab while using go-karts.

Palace Entertainment, which owns Boomers amusement park in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, said wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf that covers a woman’s hair, face and neck was too dangerous while riding go-karts, Orange County Register reported.

The ban, which has been in place since 2010, also includes the traditional Sikh turban, hats, bandanas and wigs.

The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the safety concerns were unfounded and women wearing a hijab had safely ridden more intense rides, including a roller coaster, without incident.

“We’re not trying to get around legitimate safety concerns,” CAIR civil rights attorney Fatima Dadabhoy said.

The group has been fighting to lift the ban for the past year.

It filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing last month.

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Posted by: Chatelmaster

to RAH.... You can't wear any headscarf in the UAE Karting tracks and same on all the professional tracks around the world, and you can't have loose long hair, they have to be tucked on the balaclava that covers more than the head scarf .. And the helmet is compulsory not only for the women but also for the men.... It is not a religious discrimination but a safety protection... I have been karting all around the world and I am amazed that a journalist sue such a lie to make a title... Thank you GGG for your informative comment as you say.. No way to get into the Dubai kartdrome in such attire that killed and still can kill

Posted by: GJJ

I think you will find, that rather than being a case of Islamophobia, this is health and safety issue. The working parts of the go kart are located directly behind the driver. this includes the rear axle which is turning very fast, brake disc, and. nearby, the engine. It is not only headscrafs tat are banned - long hair needs to be tied up, inside the helmet, and no scarfs of any description can be worn. Go to the Kartdrome in Dubai, and I guarantee they will not let you wear any kind of headscarf, or have your long hair hanging down from the helmet. There have been a number of incidents worldwide, one recently, where females have been KILLED afer getting hair caught in the workings of the kart, which effectively pulls the head off, and certainly breaks the neck. This has happened with an Abaya also. Google it. Karting is great fun, but don't forget, it's motorsport at the end of the day, and can be dangerous.

Posted by: gordon

the places I go insist you wear a helmet.

Many sports places do not allow rings or jewelry.

I think there is a difference between soccer and driving in a go cart where you can easily strangle youself.

Posted by: oik

quebec played a similar card by banning sikh turbines from the soccer fields and was then subsequently very politely slammed by the rest of canada, which proceeded to suspend quebec youth soccer teams from participating in the canadian league matches. its disappointing to see a business in the west coast exhibiting such behavior.

Posted by: RAH

The amusement park is just practicing islamophobia. Otherwise women can surf, swim, drive cars, ride horses and do many things unabated by their head scarf. Using go karts as their scapegoat is just ignorance and hope this ban gets overturned otherwise further discrimination against women and their free-will will ensue.

Posted by: leo50

and hopefully better sense than you have shown here will prevail. This is not islamophobia as you my wish to prevaricate; simple common sense and health and safety.

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