Muslim family claim hospital banned them from seeing newborn baby 'because they look scary'

The Zahrs say they were stopped by a security guard when they arrived at the labour ward towards the end of visiting hours.

According to the infant's aunt, Arwa Zahr, the guard told them they would be kicked out of the building if they didn't leave.

Arwa was with her mum and dad – the baby's grandparents – and both women were wearing the niqab, which covers the face and neck.

The Zahrs say this was why they were not allowed to see the baby at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia.

Arwa told NBC4: "He [security guard] screams at me and he tell us, 'You are not allowed to be here' and then said 'You know, you look scary'."

The relatives claim they were then ordered back to the waiting room.

But when the baby's father found out what had happened, he reportedly confronted the security guard and told him he was disrespectful.


The guard then asked the shift supervisor to intervene

Ahmed told the news station: "We tried to explain to [the supervisor] our side of the story. He looked at my mother as she was trying to explain what happened, and he told her: 'Close your mouth or I'll kick you out'.

"He's telling them: 'Nobody wants you here. The nurses don't want you. The doctors don't want you here'."

The Zahrs say hospital staff called police after they argued back.

The family then spoke with officers before leaving the hospital without seeing the baby girl. They registered a complaint immediately afterwards.

Ahmed said he was hurt by the alleged episode.

He added: "Just to be treated like that just because of the way you're dressed.

"We've been living here for, you know, 20-plus years. I haven't witnessed discrimination to this extent."

In a statement to US media, the hospital said: "Inova respects and values our diverse patient community and believes that all patients have the right to a respectful, safe environment, free from all forms of discrimination.

"We hold our team members and contractors to the highest ethical standards, supported by a strict zero-tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind.



 

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