Muslims in America not only are not assimilating into the larger culture, they do not believe rules apply to them.
Rye Playland is an amusement park in Rye, Westchester County, New York. Like other parks, Rye Playland has a policy ensuring its customers’ ride safety. The safety rules are posted on Rye’s website and include these:
“Loose articles and personal possessions such as electronic devices, keys, hats, glasses, backpacks, purses and stuffed animals should be left at home, kept in a locker or left with a non-rider while at the Park or on rides. Lockers are provided for a fee, and some rides provide shared bins. All items and clothing must be appropriately secured while on a ride; some smaller items can be stored/secured in cargo pockets or waist pouches. Hats must be secured, and jackets/sweaters must be worn properly and not around the waist while on a ride. Some rides do not allow backpacks, purses or head gear of any kind.”
But the amusement park was shut down on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, when Muslims scuffled with cops because women refusing to remove their head scarves were barred from the rides.
Corinne Lestch and Bill Hutchinson report for the NY Daily News that 15 people, including 3 women, were charged with disorderly conduct and assault in the chaos.
The ugly incident happened just after 1 p.m. The Westchester County park was packed with Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr – the holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The event was organized by the Muslim American Society of New York, and attracted 3,000 Muslims from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Westchester County.
One woman, Entisai Ali, began arguing with cops over the amusement park’s head scarf, or hijab, rule.
The ban, which is not Muslim specific, was imposed about 3 years ago mostly to prevent hats from falling onto the tracks of roller coasters and other rides, park officials said.
‘It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim,’ says Dena Meawad. (Norman Y. Lono for News).
Dena Meawad said the woman “just wanted to get on a ride. That was it. It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim. The cops started getting loud with her and she started getting loud, too. They pushed her on the ground and arrested her.”
Ali’s sister, Ayman Alrabah, 24, of Brooklyn said her husband, brother and father were all tackled by cops and put into handcuffs when they tried to help her sister.
Alrabah said she was unaware of the head-scarf rule until she and her sister tried to get on the park’s Dragon Coasters. “We requested a refund and all of a sudden an argument became a riot. Cops came. They were hitting my brother, my dad. My husband was on the floor and they were handcuffing him. They treated us like animals, like we were nothing. They came with their dogs and sticks. We came to have fun.” She said her 4-year-old son was “traumatized” by seeing his father arrested.
John Hodges, chief inspector of Westchester County Public Safety, insisted that police did not use excessive force. He said up to 100 cops from surrounding departments converged on the park. Two park rangers were injured in the melee, prompting felony assault charges against two people arrested.
Peter Tartaglia, deputy commissioner of Westchester County Parks, said the Muslim American Society of New York was warned in advance of the rule barring head scarves on rides for safety reasons. “Part of our rules and regulations, which we painstakingly told them over and over again, is that certain rides you cannot wear any sort of headgear. It’s a safety issue for us on rides, it could become a projectile.”
The park was closed for about two hours because of the fracas. It reopened at about 6 p.m. Many Muslims were given refunds as they left the park.
Zead Ramadan, president of the infamous CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations–New York), blamed Islamaphobia for the fracas, “In this heightened state of Islamaphobia, a woman wearing a hajib is an easy target these days.”