Amusement parks, if you think about it, are pretty dangerous places. Naturally, owners and managers enforce rules to protect their customers — but sometimes, those rules generate some serious social issues.
Rye Playland in Rye, N.Y., bans hats from the park to avoid them falling onto the tracks of various rides. However, the park’s definition of “hat” is iffy at best.
On Tuesday, while celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday on the last day of Ramadan, 3,000 Muslims gathered at the amusement park. When one woman was denied entry onto a rollercoaster because of her headscarf, she and her family requested a refund. What started as a small disagreement soon erupted into a riot.
Police allegedly beat some of the rioters, and 15 were charged with disorderly conduct and assault. Dena Meawad, one of the women, said she believed the event only occurred because they are Muslim.
Whether or not this event was a result of Islamaphobia, it’s not acceptable. Sure, the ban on hats makes sense. Headscarves are different: They’re religious dress. Most Muslims consider the headscarf, also called a hijab, modest dress for women.
To be fair, the Muslim American Society of New York was warned of the ban while planning the event. Nonetheless, the women claimed they did not know.
The park ended up closing for about two hours due to the riot.
A simple argument that could have been resolved with a bit of conversation ended with a riot, 15 arrests and 100 cops surrounding the park. Come on, people. That’s just ridiculous.
To the Daily Kent Stater, this was a complete overreaction on both parties.
The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.