Woman says Denver Pepsi Center guard told her to remove hijab

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Gazella Bensreiti speaks during a news conference in Denver, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. The Westminster woman says an arena security guard told her to remove her hijab before she could enter to see her 8-year-old daughter sing the national anthem with her school choir at a Denver Nuggets basketball game on Nov. 5. Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Pepsi Center, called the encounter a “misunderstanding” and said the guard didn’t recognize that Bensreiti was wearing a hijab. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

DENVER  |  A Muslim civil rights group is protesting after a Colorado arena security guard told a woman to remove her hijab before she could enter to see her 8-year-old daughter sing the national anthem with her school choir at a Denver Nuggets basketball game.

Gazella Bensreiti said Wednesday that the guard told her to “take that thing off of my head” at the Pepsi Center box office on Nov. 5.

Bensreiti said she explained the scarf was for religious purposes. She said the guard replied that she didn’t care.

After speaking with a supervisor, the guard ushered her inside.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations protested the incident.

Arena owner Kroenke Sports & Entertainment called the encounter a misunderstanding and said the guard didn’t recognize that Bensreiti was wearing a hijab.