McDonalds has apologised to a Muslim woman who was allegedly told she could not enter one of its London stores while wearing a hijab.
The incident is thought to have taken place in the fast-food chain’s outlet on Seven Sisters Road in Holloway yesterday.
In footage recorded by the woman, who has decided to remain anonymous, she can be heard asking a worker why she can’t enter the restaurant.
“Why can’t I come into McDonalds?” she asks. “Is it because I’m wearing a hijab? I’m sorry, but can you like please say it.”
“It’s just a matter of taking it off, then…” the man in the video replies, gesturing to his head.
“It’s not just a matter of taking it off, I wear this for religious reasons and I’m not ashamed of it,” the woman hits back.
“I will stand in line and I will get the food that I want because this isn’t okay.
“I go to all the shops and any restaurant I want in my hijab and I buy the food that I want to buy and then I come and I literally live down the street from here.”
She continues: “This is actually like a hate crime, this is a hate crime.”
Another customer then intervenes, telling the man – thought to be a security guard – that he cannot stop the woman from entering the store.
Walking up to the counter, the woman asks: “I’m sorry, but I just want to know who is implementing this policy because this is fucking ridiculous.”
She is then told by a man behind the counter not to be “rude”, apparently going on to ask her to stop filming.
“I’m not being rude, I’m just so shocked right now,” the woman says.
“I’m not going to stop it, it’s my legal right to film whatever is happening right now. I’ve been living in the UK for 19 years now and this is the first time I’m faced with this kind of discrimination and I’m shocked, I’m actually shocked.”
She then leaves the store without ordering any food, saying she’s “pretty full to the head right now”.
The footage was shared on Twitter by a friend, Sabrina, who wrote: “My friend was refused service at a McDonalds today in London because she was wearing a hijab.
“When she started recording the incident, she was told to stop but thankfully didn’t. Thank you to the kind man who defended her against the security guard and employees at the store…”
She continued: “We will be contacting the relevant authorities to ensure this is dealt with. It is disgusting that hate crimes and discrimination are so prevalent in this country, especially in such a diverse city like London.
“We cannot be silent bystanders to this hate.”
McDonalds has since released an apology, saying it does not have a policy in place “which restricts or prevents anyone wearing a hijab, or any other religious dress, from entering the restaurant”.
“We welcome customers of all faiths and would like to apologise to the customer as this situation should not have taken place.
“We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are addressing this with the individuals involved.”
A spokesperson for the Met Police told HuffPost UK the force did not have any record of an incident being reported, but that it could have been delayed if it was made online.