Laila Chini, Morocco MasterChef winner, was banned from entering a restaurant along with her friends according to her Instagram Stories.
Chini expressed shock and disappointment especially as “this was the first time” she was being discriminated against for her Hijab (Islamic veil).
The videos went quickly viral and sparked a debate on social networks between defenders of women’s rights to dress however they want, “especially in a country that claims to rule by the Islamic guidelines”, and those who support the owner’s “right” to choose its customer base.
“You defend everybody’s freedom to wear what they want, but when it comes to Hijab, no one is talking about it,” expressed one user in a Facebook group. Another replied: “You can’t have everything in life. Hijab and eating at a pub restaurant that serves alcohol, Hijab, and swimming where you want when you want(…) When we make a choice we take accountability for it.”
The restaurant ended up apologizing for the incident amid backlash and calls for a boycott.
On another note, a similar episode occurred last week when a Moroccan woman was denied access to a 5 stars hotel in Marrakech because she was single and unaccompanied.