An Aurora woman is alleging discrimination after a Nov. 5 incident in which Pepsi Center staff allegedly asked her to remove her hijab before entering.
The Denver Post reports that Gazella Bensreiti was attending a basketball game in which her daughter’s elementary school was scheduled to sing the National Anthem.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations alleged that an employee told Bensreiti to “take that thing off,” referring to the head covering that Muslim women can adopt to illustrate ethnic identity or submission to god, among other reasons.
Bensreiti’s daughter reportedly became distraught at the prospect of her mother not seeing her perform, and Bensreiti was eventually allowed inside.
“It’s unfortunately all too common for Muslim women to be harassed, excluded or discriminated against because of their hijabs,” CAIR attorney Gadeir Abbas said.
According to The Post, a spokesperson for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the facility’s owner, said that “when a security agent didn’t recognize that Ms. Bensreiti was wearing a hijab, [a] supervisor quickly intervened and Ms. Bensreiti entered.” She added that Kroenke was reviewing the incident as well as educating its employees.