Summer camp teacher, Tahsiyn Ismaa’eel, said she experienced anti-Islamic harassment, after her group was kicked out of a public pool for wearing their hijabs, according to the Washington Post.
The Wilmington, Delaware resident, took about 15 children to the pool when they were approached by a one of the employees. The pools officials said “that cotton” the girls were wearing “could put a strain on the pool’s filtration system.”
“We, as a group, were being talked about. One child said they heard the word ‘Muslim,'” Ismaa’eel said.
She continued: “I believe it was discrimination, deep down in my bones.”
Ismaa’eel shared the incident on Facebook and received support. Zainab Chaudry, spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said: “All Americans are entitled to reasonable religious accommodations while using public facilities. It is unlawful to discriminate against members of any group because of their religious attire.”
Mayor Mike Purzycki also spoke out about the discrimination.
“We should be held accountable for what happened and how poorly we assessed this incident,” Purzycki said in a statement. “I apologize to the children who were directed to leave a city pool because of the religious-required clothing they were wearing. We also referred to vaguely-worded pool policies to assess and then justify our poor judgment, and that was also wrong.”
Ismaa’eel was thankful the mayor spoke out, until she returned to the pool and saw that zero action was taken against the pool employee who kicked her group out.
“If she really did do something wrong, why is she still there?” Ismaa’eel said. “That would be the biggest apology.”
Shortly after her group left, and went to another pool.
“When they shut down one pool on you,” Ismaa’eel wrote, on Facebook, “go have fun in another.”