Bahraini authorities shut down an Indian restaurant after its manager refused entry to a woman wearing a hijab on its premises, according to media reports.
The restaurant Lantern in Bahrain’s Adliya area has reportedly suspended the Indian manager and has since issued an apology on its Instagram page regarding the incident.
The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority has also launched a probe and asked all outlets to avoid any policy that discriminates against people, the Daily Tribune News of Bahrain reported.
“We reject all actions that discriminate against people, especially regarding their national identity,” Bahraini authorities said.
It added that the step to close the restaurant was taken in accordance with Decree Law Number 15 of 1986, which deals with “tourism-related establishments”.
Meanwhile, the restaurant posted an apology on social media expressing regret for the “mistake”.
“Everyone is welcome to Lanterns as how it has been for more than 35 years that we have been serving all nationalities in the beautiful kingdom of Bahrain. Lanterns is a place for everyone to come enjoy with their families and feel at home. In this instance, a mistake has been made by a manager who is now being suspended as this does not represent who we are,” the restaurant said in a statement on Instagram.
“As a goodwill gesture, we welcome all our Bahraini patrons to Lanterns on Tuesday 29th of March to have complimentary food on us,” the statement said.
The incident comes at a time when an Indian court upheld a ban on the hijab inside educational institutions, maintaining that the garment is not essential to the practice of Islam.
The court’s decision came after a group of young Muslim girls campaigned for their right to wear the hijab in the classroom, leading to a long and bitter standoff between them and the government of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. (Source: Independent UK)