Fight Beaks Out at Rye Playland Over Muslim Headscarves

And, of course, they blame those evil police! The rules are clear about wearing hats and headgear/scarves. Get used to this America, things are just getting started!

MYFOXNY.COM – Police from several departments rushed to the Rye Playland amusement park in Westchester County after an altercation broke out between patrons over a tensions over Muslim headscarves.

The fight erupted after a “misunderstanding” between the park workers and some Muslim patrons over the park’s restrictions on headgear on some rides, according to the Westchester County Executive’s Office.

Apparently some Muslim women wearing the traditional headscarf, called a hijab, were denied access to some rides because of safety reasons.

“The incident erupted when some of the women tried to gain entry on rides that prohibit any kind of headwear, such as hats, scarves and flowing material, which would include hijabs,” according to a statement from the executive’s office. “The tour operator, the Muslim American Society of New York, had been notified well in advance of today’s event-numerous times both in writing and verbally-the county’s policy on headgear for certain rides at the amusement park.”

The patrons were offered refunds, the statement said, but then some men and women started arguing with each other, the statement said, “to the point that park security had to intervene. In the course of restoring calm, two park rangers suffered injuries and had to be taken to a nearby hospital.”

People were not allowed into the park between 4 and 6 p.m. as police and security tried to restore order.

Many people on Twitter reported seeing the police descend upon the park. Dozens of police vehicles and the park. Officers arrested and charged 15 patrons, according to the county executive’s office. “After the arrests, park officials met with the tour operator to ensure that all members of his group understood the headgear policy,” the statement said.

“This misunderstanding was very unfortunate,” said Peter Tartaglia, the deputy parks commissioner. “Our headgear policy is designed to protect the safety of patrons and safety is our first concern. This policy was repeatedly articulated to the tour operator, but unfortunately the message did not reach some of the members of his group.”

The tour group was at the park to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, a major holiday in the Islamic faith that marks the end of Ramadan.

Witnesses at the scene say a pair of girls confronted security personnel about the issue and one of the girls ended up on the ground in handcuffs. A group of men intervened and that is when things got out of control.

But some of the members of the group said that the rangers and the cops overreacted.

The exit ramps from I-95 into the park were also closed as police tried to get control of the situation.

The park is owned and run by Westchester County, the only government-owned amusement park in the country.

Fight Beaks Out at Rye Playland Over Muslim Headscarves: MyFoxNY.com

Read more: http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/disturbance-at-rye-playland-20110830-LGF#ixzz1WcUpt3kV


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