03 September 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

There's a story that's been going around lately, and it's pretty true, that a bunch of Muslim women were recently arrested at the Playland Amusement Park in Rye, New York (which is owned by the Westchester County Government--the only amusement park in the nation so owned by a governmental entity), for causing a disturbance and protesting the park's refusal to allow them entrance on the park's many rides while wearing their headgear.

Being a life-long resident of Westchester County and friends with folks who've worked at Playland over the years, I have an issue with this entire story. It's being made out that the Muslim women were singled out, and that's just not the case.

Here's the fact of the matter:

Anyone wearing any sort of headgear, including scarves, is not permitted on any ride at Playland, for safety reasons: If the women were allowed onto the rides and one of them were choked to death because their scarf (their headgear) loosened or got caught on the equipment during a ride, then they would be clamoring to sue. This is the reason that headgear of any sort is not allowed on rides; it can come loose and cause injury.

[EDIT]Apparently, as some of my friends in the social sphere have pointed out, these women have never heard of Isadora Duncan.[/EDIT]

The women could just as easily have left their headgear with the attendants of the ride for retrieval for when they were finished with the ride, much as has been done with assistive devices (such as canes/walkers) that some patrons require to aid their walking.

If these women simply had removed their head gear for the ride, they would have been let on. The women were issued refunds for their tickets but, basically, decided to make much ado about nothing, IMHO.