Muslim woman told “not to bother” applying for jewellery store job because of hijab

Mona Alfadli (Photo: New Zealand Herald)

A Muslim woman who enquired about a job at a jewellery store was told “not to bother” applying for the vacancy because of her hijab, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Mona Alfadli, 25, originally from Kuwait but now living in Auckland, New Zealand, was rejected from the Stewart Dawsons store in New Lynn last week.

Ms Alfadli claims the store manager said, “Don’t waste your time and don’t waste my time” after she said she would not remove her hijab, and told the New Zealand Herald she “felt embarrassed” about the incident.

“I felt embarrassed as it took a lot of courage to walk into the shop and speak to the manager regarding a job, especially since I was afraid of the rejection,” she said.

The 25-year-old’s family migrated to New Zealand from Kuwait in 2008, and she has been seeking work sending out up to five applications a day since she finished her diploma last November.

“I can do any job, I don’t mind, but I will keep my hijab, I will keep my identity, and respect my culture and my religion,” Ms Alfadli told the publication.

Stewart Dawsons have responded to the Ms Alfadi’s allegations in a statement posted online, stating that they were “extremely disappointed” with the “discrimination against a potential employee”.

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“We are extremely disappointed about the way Ms Mona Alfadli was treated and this by no means is reflective of the company’s policy,” the store said. 

“Stewart Dawsons is an equal opportunity employer and we do not discriminate on any grounds. 

“We apologise sincerely to Ms Alfadli and have invited her back for a second interview,” they added. 

This is the second incident in recent months, after another Muslim woman was turned away from another branch of the jewellery store last October for wearing a hijab.

Fatima Mohammadi applied for a summer position at the St Luke’s franchise, also in Auckland, in order to help out her family financially.

However she was told that wearing her hijab was “against company policy”.

Ms Mohammadi was later offered a position. 

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