Woman in Hijab Not Allowed to Ride a Flat Ride at Belmont Park in San Diego

April 13, 2016, 5:00 PM

Below is the source


Although I strongly believe in the Freedom of Religion, I have to agree with the park in this case. If the person had rode the ride with the hijab, there is a chance that they could've gotten injured and the park would've likely been sued.

Replies (19)

April 13, 2016, 7:47 PM

This will be settled out of court. No biggie. Staff cites safety, minority class claims racism, basically it's the cost of doing business in California at this point.

April 13, 2016, 9:14 PM

In the theme park industry, safety is the number one priority at all times. If a rule exists due to a potential hazard, it should never be violated, and while unfortunate for those who cannot or choose not to follow it they simply can't experience that particular attraction. Amusement rides are little more than heavy machinery designed to transport passengers, and like many large machines ignoring proper operating protocol can have lethal consequences.

It is unfortunate that this type of thing is an issue and could lead to a discrimination lawsuit, but that's the way the United States works. In a case like this, I'd 100% side with the park, and perhaps one day people will realize you're being protected instead of being discriminated against.

April 14, 2016, 2:45 PM

I'm curious about why a scarf around is a safety hazard. If it comes off it's not a dangerous projectile and it's less likely to come off that a pair of glasses (which I've never been asked to remove). It's less likely to get caught in something than long hair, and a lot less dangerous to the patron.

If they are going to make these "rules" (it's not known whether this was a preexisting park rule or something made up on the spot) they should be well thought out and publicly documented. A hijab is not an uncommon piece of attire, and one attached to people's cultural identity, so if you want them to remove it you should have reasonable and publicised rules. If they did then I support the park, however if not then I believe the patron has a just cause.

April 14, 2016, 3:20 PM

I 110% side with Belmont park!! Safety should be every amusement park's first priority. I don't understand why this lady has to take it to court though... It's not like they said "sorry you can't ride so go home". They gave her an option to take it off and ride without it, and she refused. That's like me bringing on a loose article and demanding that I should be entitled to ride with it.

April 14, 2016, 3:31 PM

I would like to be on her side but I am with the park because it is a safety issue.
Also @Disneyobsession
I would not compare a hijab to a camera or a cell phone. Its more like your skin, you don't just "take it off". There was some controversy about a Sikh man being detained because he wouldn't take off his turban at a Mexican airport because he considered it to be part of him.

April 14, 2016, 4:53 PM

I can fully understand if they don't allow to ride anything while wearing for a turban for example, but I wonder if it is really dangerous to ride something with a hijab. I don't know anything about hijabs, since nobody (not even the Muslim females) of my friends wear one, but to me they usually don't look like they could just fall off or something.

April 14, 2016, 4:59 PM

What if they had a rule saying everyone had to ride topless, citing safety reasons. That's not sexist, because everyone has to take off their top. Safety must be top priority.

I know I'm being argumentative, but simply saying there is a safety concern is a very convenient out for discrimination. These women where a scarf around their head, a piece of fabric. Would Trump have to take off his toupe to ride? If a white woman have a bandanna wrapped around her hair have to take it off (and this isn't even linked to her cultural identity)? I really doubt it.

Their is a distinct possibility that this event is discrimination (obviously all the facts are not public knowledge), so taking the park up on it is entirely reasonable. I'm not just going to support the park on "safety concerns", because I fail to see any, and if there are, they must be enforcing all similar safety concerns.

April 14, 2016, 5:30 PM

@Grant Crawford
Trump corrected to Drumpf on my computer.
Anyway, speaking of hated American 'politicians', did anyone see Ted Cruz riding Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer. He doesn't even try to look like he's having fun. I feel bad for the coaster.

April 14, 2016, 5:38 PM

Jaiden , thank you for the correction. I have to say, I could picture Hillary Clinton coming off a ride with some sort of cat's bottom smile.

April 14, 2016, 5:39 PM

Regardless wether it's safety or discrimination it'll be settled outside of court. There is not enough information provided nor pictures of the offending hijab to make a determination. Frankly I think it's best not to side with either party till enough facts are presented.

April 14, 2016, 5:44 PM

@Grant Crawford
What does a cat's bottom smile mean? Not sure if that's anti Hillary or not BUT because I am a Democrat who respects other people's options I won't judge (unless you are a Trump or Cruz supporter).

April 14, 2016, 6:16 PM

I'm a foreigner. In Australia I'm relatively right wing, in the US I would definitely be democrat though.

Not a big fan of Clinton (from what I've observed in the past), but I think Trump is a complete moron. If the US vote him in, they'll be the laughing stock of the whole world. Don't really know the other candidates.

The cat's bottom is the look on her face when she purses her lips together.

Edited: April 14, 2016, 8:41 PM

Is it dangerous to ride with a hijab? I would think its an issue of the fabric catching on a mechanism and ripping your head off. If that possibility isn't an issue, then go ahead.

Here's something to think about.

April 14, 2016, 9:34 PM

Anon mouse, that argument doesn't hold water. Google "woman hair freak accident", women's hair is often involved in freak accidents, but I bet there isn't a policy on people with long hair having to have it tied. A Hijab is usually clipped down and as such more likely protect the head/hair from such an injury.

Court raises a valid point about the nature of the hijab, something which we don't know.

April 14, 2016, 10:29 PM

Grant, having been on the ride in question my suspicion is that the rule is mainly due to the restraints on the attraction. The ride is a Chance Rides Revolution 20 (http://www.chancerides.com/rides/revolution20.html, it's actually the one pictured on the website), which uses over the shoulder restraints to secure riders. On this particular attraction, the restraints are completely automated...the operator just flips a switch and all the restraints lower or raise automatically. While unlikely, it is possible that a loose piece of clothing could possibly get caught in the mechanism and cause injury. Most attractions have a sign at the entrance stating the specific restrictions for that ride, so this is something that should be covered there.

As for hair, I have actually seen some parks that require long hair be tied up or tucked into a collar. Hair restrictions are rare, but once or twice I've been to a park where they distribute rubber bands to those with hair longer than shoulder length. Obviously you can't ask someone to remove their hair, but occasionally you'll find a restriction on that as well.

Lastly, keep in mind that US theme parks are a bit overkill when it comes to safety. In Europe, I've seen rides that don't even have a fence around them while in the US there is ten feet of clearance between the waiting riders and the closest moving component, with a 4 foot high magnetically locked gate blocking access. However, if you keep in mind that the US is a country where if you visit a park in rainy weather and hurt yourself by slipping, it is the park's fault for not warning you the ground was wet. That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but in a sue-happy society everyone is going to err on the side of caution.

April 15, 2016, 12:54 AM

Like I say, if it is part of their safety policy, documented and public, I don't really have an issue, as long as it is enforced consistently. The policy may not make sense, but in such a litigious environment it is designed to protect the park.

April 15, 2016, 3:46 AM

People in the US are honestly so stupid at theme parks and I see it ALL THE TIME! A lot of not listening to ride ops, and leaning on air gates. Nothing major but all of those B&M invert decapitaions have happened in the US to my knowlage.

April 15, 2016, 3:47 AM

Trump is more embarrassing than our theme park guests though...

April 15, 2016, 8:57 AM

I have to wonder how many of us are rushing to judgement. I think just about everyone has.

Yes, Safety has to be the number 1 concern. If in doubt, the correct response is to not. I used to be (still am in my head) a glider pilot, and one day when operating the launch point I refused to allow an instructor to go up in the air, on the grounds I'd been told visibility was too poor for any further birds to go up in the air.

This said, before agreeing with the park 100%, as many have rushed to do, we now have to asses whether or not the safety concern was actually justified.

Beach Blaster to me from video looks like a pretty bog standard claw ride. I can't see immediately any mechanicals that it would get caught in that also wouldn't be an issue with long hair.

Is the risk falling? I'm not sure a piece of fabric falling is a massive risk, and they do seem to be word fairly tightly, and under the chin.

I'm going to sit firmly on the fence on this one. It might be that the safety rules were interpreted too zealously (in which case, better showing zeal than being lackadaisical), it may be an excuse made up after the fact, or it could in fact be legitimate.

Presuming it is legitimate, then I would expect the park on the safety warning board has something listed that covered this, it wouldn't have to specifically say "No Hijab" (and indeed shouldn't!) but something to address the actual risk (loose clothing? Head coverings?). As long as they're covered there, I don't see any issues. The park may want to even look at a solution to prevent this happening again (an additional head covering with an under-chin strap to prevent things flying loose?)

If it was zeal, then I think the family is only owed an apology and an explanation, and perhaps a free visit as a goodwill gesture. I presume they were still allowed to use the full facilities of the rest of the park, so I don't see any real loss.

If its a story made up to justify it later, well I'm sure I don't need to say what I think there.

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