A U.S.-based rights group called for an investigation on Friday after a Muslim woman was told to leave a Louisiana shopping mall because she was wearing a headscarf.
According to CAIR – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – the veiled 54-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law were leaving the food court of Oakwood Mall in a New Orleans suburb on Feb. 22 when a security guard approached them and allegedly told the older woman that she had two options: remove her headscarf or leave the mall.
When she refused, the guard reportedly followed the women as they left the mall and even called for back-up.
The daughter-in-law told CAIR that the two women felt "humiliated" by the stares of other shoppers as the guard escorted them out.
The family, American citizens of Palestinian heritage, has hired an attorney and is exploring their legal options, the group said.
"It is unbelievable that an American of any faith would be denied access to a public area merely because she wished to carry out the requirements of her faith," said CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili.
The group called on local law enforcement authorities and the FBI to determine whether any civil rights or criminal laws were violated during the incident.