Article Analysis: Hold The Hijab

1832 words - 7 pages

In a Los Angeles Times article entitled “Hold the Hijab,” the author argues that a company with a history of strict clothing guidelines has the authority to restrict its employees from wearing religious head coverings. This directly applies to a recent court case where Disneyland fired a Muslim woman from the Storyteller’s Café. This woman, Imane Boudlal, refused to follow Disney’s dress guidelines by wearing her hijab to work. Thus, Disney rightly fired Boudlal for a variety of reasons, the author argues. Firstly, a company like Disneyland Resort pays extreme attention to detail through its decorations, music and costumes. By allowing an employee to wear a turban or hijab at an attraction where these articles of clothing do not fit would “diminish the carefully crafted sense of leaving the real world behind” (“Hold the Hijab”). Furthermore, most restaurants require hostesses to follow loose clothing guidelines. In some restaurants, modesty is required while in others immodesty. If a restaurant’s guidelines required hostesses to dress immodestly and the hostess refused for religious reasons, the company wouldn’t allow it. Thus, Disney’s reasoning to adhere to their dress policy is congruent with other restaurants’ policies. In addition, Disney’s strict dress policy is a business tactic that applies to all employees, not just Muslims. When employees sign their contract, they agree to “refrain from wearing religious items” and adhere to the dress code (“Hold the Hijab”). However, Disney does reasonably accommodate religious practices as long as they fit with the attraction theme. In the case of Boudlal, Disney provided her with an alternate costume with a higher neckline and headgear to cover her hair and neck. Since Boudlal rejected these accommodations, the author argues that Disney had reason to fire Boudlal.
Although this author poses some reasonable arguments, there are several flaws fallaciously and tonally. For example, the author claims that a company like Disney with a “long history of dress policies” has the right to prohibit hijabs. This follows the format of an Appeal to Tradition fallacy; Disney has the right to fire employees for wearing religious clothing because it’s been in the dress code for many years. Just because a company has followed the same guidelines for many years doesn’t mean that they’re moral and correct. Furthermore, the author justifies Disney’s dress code as nondiscriminatory toward Muslims because most restaurants enforce a dress code and most people agree that it is an employer’s right. Because this premise focuses on gaining support because most people and employers support it, it is an ad populum argument. However, the reader shouldn’t be blindly persuaded to jump on the bandwagon. Rather, they should be able to form their own opinion based on reliable situations and facts. Moreover, the author’s opening statement that “Minnie Mouse doesn’t wear a hijab” is a faulty analogy. Of course a...

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