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Zara fired employees in France after a woman in a hijab was barred from one of its stores

People go shopping at a Zara store on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, on February 15, 2015.
Alain Jocard/Getty Images
One of Zara’s Paris stores.
By Marc Bain
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Fast-fashion retailer Zara has found itself in the midst of controversy after a security guard denied a woman in a hijab entry into one of its French stores.

A video of the event, which occurred in Plaisir, a suburb west of Paris, had spread quickly on social media, provoking outrage and calls for a boycott. The date of the video isn’t clear, but it was uploaded on Nov. 14, the day after the shocking Paris attacks that left at least 129 people dead. In response, Zara confirmed to Agence France-Presse that it fired the store manager and the security guard involved in the incident.

In the video, the security guard reportedly tells the woman that nobody is allowed to enter with their head covered. “If things change, they’ll change, but I don’t make the rules,” he says.

A French law introduced in 2010 prevents anyone from wearing a full face covering in public, but the law doesn’t apply to the hijab, which only covers the hair.

“This type of mentality is unheard of at Zara and there have never been instructions given out to act this way,” Jean-Jacques Salaun, Zara’s head of French stores, told AFP. He also said he apologized to the shopper, and the brand apologized to consumers on Facebook as well.

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