Written by Don Byrd
Muslim children in Wilmington suffered repeated harassment and discrimination over their religiously mandated attire when trying to use a local city pool, according to a complaint filed in state court. The children attending a Muslim summer academy were repeatedly refused entry to the pool or forced to leave, the plaintiffs allege, because of their cotton clothing and head scarves.
The lawsuit asks the city to create clear written pool policies that also ensure religious rights are respected. It also wants the city to train staff on the policy and post adequate notice so patrons understand the rules. Khan said the goal is not monetary compensation, but to ensure the discrimination ends and to allow the kids to heal.
“This is involving a lot of really young kids, some of them as young as 5 and 6 years old, who have been scarred by this experience, coming home regularly, crying to their parents, and asking, ‘Why do people hate Muslims?’” she said. “Some of the kids are scared to go back to any pool, some of the kids have stopped wearing head scarves. It’s really had a lasting impact and traumatized these children to a large degree.”
You can read the complaint here.