Disneyland definitely wasn't the "happiest place in the world" for former employee Imane Boudlal.
Disney would not allow her to wear the hijab -- religious head scarf -- while on duty in one of the theme park's cafes, and refused to do anything about the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab slurs of her coworkers.
Boudlal, a Moroccan-born U.S. citizen, wears the hijab in observance of her Muslim faith.
With the help of the ACLU of Southern California, she is now suing the Walt Disney Company for harassment and religious discrimination.
“Disneyland calls itself the happiest place on earth, but I faced harassment as soon as I started working there,” said Boudlal. “It only got worse when I decided to wear a hijab. My journey towards wearing it couldn’t have been more American; it began at my naturalization ceremony. I realized that I had the freedom to be who I want and freely practice my religion. Neither Disney nor anyone else can take that from me.”
Disney told Boudlal that she could only wear the hijab if she worked in the back room or if she wore a fedora hat over it. They said the hijab violated their "look."
Characters shown in the "It's a Small World" ride wear the hijab, but, apparently, employees can't.
Religious rights are not subject to a "look." Free exercise of religion is at the core of our civil liberties in the United States.
We stand with our colleagues in Southern California as they fight for Boudlal's rights.