A British Muslim woman who applied for a teaching job in Kuwait was told to remove her hijab if she wanted to be hired to “appeal to local parents”.
Fouzia Khatun shared a screenshot of the email in an Instagram post last Wednesday from the Kuwaiti “English Playgroup”, accusing the school of religious discrimination.
Ms Khatun wrote: “I always considered myself one of them lucky individuals as I have never been a victim of Islamophobia or racial discrimination.
“To say I applied for a job in Kuwait where I felt I would easily fit in due to same religious beliefs and Islamic mind of thoughts, where I thought being a hijabi would be an honour… only to go and be asked to take off the one piece of clothing that made me want to move to Kuwait in the first place”.
The email was sent by Caroline Brooks, a human resources employee from the English Playgroup, a prestigious education company dedicated to early childhood education with over 25 schools across the oil-rich Gulf country.
Brooks wrote, “The customer (parents) do not want their children taught by covered teachers. It is an English school…if this isn’t acceptable to you I wish you every success. This is a non-negotiable”.
The allegation has sparked controversy in the Middle Eastern country where majority of the women wear the hijab.
One Instagram user said: “As a Kuwaiti hijabi I find this utterly appalling and completely unacceptable.”
Discrimination against women who wear the hijab in Muslim majority countries is surprisingly common in the workplace and privately owned businesses.
5Pillars contacted The English Playgroup for comment before the publication of this article and we are yet to receive a response.