Amusement Park Safety Rules Anger Muslims

By:  Bruce Walker
09/01/2011
       
Amusement Park Safety Rules Anger Muslims

Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, is one of the most important Muslim religious holidays.  As a celebration of that holiday, 3,000 Muslims went to Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York. When staff at the park insisted that women who rode rides at the park could not wear the hijab — the traditional head covering that the majority of Muslim women are enjoined to use — the result was a brawl that required police from nine different agencies to converge on the park and restore peace.  About 100 officers were required to handle the disturbance that involved 30 to 40 people, 13 of whom were arrested by the police. 

Playland Amusement Park was not attempting to offend Muslims, park officials explained. The park has had three accidents on its rides in the last seven years. Two children and a park employee were killed as a result of these accidents. As a result of that, Playland Amusement Park adopted some relatively stringent rules regarding passengers on its rides. These rules are on Playland’s website and state that all items and clothing must be appropriately secured while on a ride. Jackets/sweaters must be worn properly and not around the waist while on the ride. The rides forbid backpacks, purses or head gear of any kind.

Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, is one of the most important Muslim religious holidays.  As a celebration of that holiday, 3,000 Muslims went to Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York. When staff at the park insisted that women who rode rides at the park could not wear the hijab — the traditional head covering that the majority of Muslim women are enjoined to use — the result was a brawl that required police from nine different agencies to converge on the park and restore peace.  About 100 officers were required to handle the disturbance that involved 30 to 40 people, 13 of whom were arrested by the police. 

Playland Amusement Park was not attempting to offend Muslims, park officials explained. The park has had three accidents on its rides in the last seven years. Two children and a park employee were killed as a result of these accidents. As a result of that, Playland Amusement Park adopted some relatively stringent rules regarding passengers on its rides. These rules are on Playland’s website and state that all items and clothing must be appropriately secured while on a ride. Jackets/sweaters must be worn properly and not around the waist while on the ride. The rides forbid backpacks, purses or head gear of any kind.

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