Butlin's facing discrimination claim over dodgems 'hijab ban'

David Harding
Butlin’s Minehead (Christopher Jones/REX/Shutterstock) (

A Muslim dad is taking Butlin’s to court claiming the famous holiday company stopped his daughter from using the dodgems because she was wearing a hijab.

Moammer Nasser, from Birmingham, has filed a claim for racial and religious discrimination against Butlin’s in Minehead.

The 41-year-old claims his teenage daughter was stopped from using the dodgems because of what she was wearing, reports The Guardian.

Mr Nasser was on holiday with his wife and four children.

It is claimed that Mr Nasser was waiting to use the dodgems with his 16-year-old daughter  when they were told by a member of staff that they could not use the dodgems because the hijab presented a health and safety issue.

“I was shown a safety code which stated that some disabled guests or those with physical injuries may not be able to use rides safely,” said Mr Nasser.

“But wearing a hijab is not a disability or a physical injury.

“We were humiliated in front of other fairground users. My daughter was crying at the gate of the ride, making her feel very stressed and upset.

 “People were looking at us as if we were criminals.”

The holiday camp in Somerset has been open for 55 years (Christopher Jones/REX/Shutterstock)

The aggrieved father asked staff to see Butlin’s policy regarding hijabs and also pointed to the fact that other users were wearing headgear.

He said the family were so upset by the incident they cut short their holiday.

Mr Nasser lodged a formal complaint and has since taken legal action. He has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the case.

Butlin’s responded to the complaint saying it sent its “sincere apologies” to the family but added the policy was due to a “previous very serious incident” last year when a scarf around a visitor’s neck had come loose, got caught in the chassis and caused a serious injury.


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The family claim their daughter was stopped from using the dodgems because she was wearing a hijab, shown here being worn by a model (Rex)

A spokesman said: “Our team are trained not to compromise when it comes to the safety of our guests,” reported the Guardian.

“In this instance our team member quite rightly put the guest’s welfare first and judged that loose headwear could have caused a risk if caught in moving bumper cars.

“There was no question of discrimination and any suggestions of this are utterly rejected in the fair strongest terms.”

The holiday camp in Somerset was opened in 1962.