Teenage Muslim Hafsah Negussie alleges she was held against her will at a Brisbane BP service station by a worker following company policy that requires customers to remove helmets, hoodies, or large hats before approaching the counter.
Herald Sun (h/t Helen D) Negussie, a Muslim who wears a face-covering bag over her head while in public, said she allegedly tried to pay for her goods and go, but claimed the attendant locked the doors when she attempted to leave.
The incident, which occurred at a BP service station on Brisbane’s southside in December last year, was reported to police but no official report was filed until Ms Negussie came forward again in April. “I’m Australian, I was born and raised here, I know my rights. It’s so horrific,” Ms Negussie said. (No, you are NOT Australian, you are a Muslim)
A company spokesman said the policy did not extend to religious head wear and admitted the attendant involved had misunderstood business requirements.
The spokesman rejected Ms Negussie’s claim that she was locked in the service station. “The customer could have left the store at any time of her choosing and there is no evidence to support the suggestion that the she was restrained or held in the store against her will,” he said.
Ms Negussie said the apology, issued last week after enquiries by the Southern Star, “WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH.” (Give me money!)
She has now taken the case to the Queensland Anti Discrimination Commission with help from her friend and human rights lawyer Sabrina Khan Ismail. “We believe she was deprived of her liberty and is quite traumatised by this incident and BP’s denial of the incident is not helping the matter,” Ms Ismail said. (Oh, please, spare us the hysterics)
South Brisbane District Detective Inspector Rod Kemp said there was a lack of evidence to substantiate a deprivation of liberty charge in Ms Negussie’s case. “The version of the attendant’s story doesn’t match the version of the victim’s. And because it was back on the first of December there’s no CCTV, there’s no independent witnesses to it.”
“The consul operator says at no time did she restrain the person or hold her against her will and she’s saying it was a dispute over payment.”