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A Disney intern's uniform, with hijab

Noor Abdallah in her Disney uniform
Noor Abdallah in her Disney uniform
Photo courtesy of CAIR-LA

A Disney intern who did battle with the company over her traditional Islamic religious head scarf, known as hijab, is at work in the job she was hired to do, and in a uniform adapted for her.

Noor Abdallah, 22, sought legal help after arriving from Illinois to begin work at the Anaheim resort. She had interviewed by phone for an internship as a Disney vacation planner, but upon arriving in California, she was informed that because of her hijab, she would instead have to take a stockroom job while a customized uniform was made.

Upon learning that she would have to wait five months for a custom uniform - the length of her internship - Abdallah sought assistance from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Islamic civil liberties group with an office in Los Angeles. Within a week, Disney relented, allowing her to work in the vacation planner job with a uniform that includes a blue head scarf with a beret-style hat over it.

Disney has created an illustration of Abdallah's uniform, published in USA Today and on LAist.

The decision to allow Abdallah to wear hijab while at work could have farther-reaching implications, including in the case of Imane Boudial, a Moroccan immigrant who filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last month, alleging that she was not allowed to wear her hijab while on the job at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Her case is still pending.

A spokeswoman for CAIR-LA said yesterday that the organization is urging Disney to come up with an official policy that will allow all Muslim female employees to wear their head scarves at work.