A brawl between police and a group of Muslims at a theme park has left two park rangers injured and 15 people arrested, including three women.
Approximately 3,000 members of the Muslim American Society were visiting New York's Rye Playland theme park on Tuesday for the end of Ramadan.
A number of women within the group were denied entry to certain rides in the park unless they removed their hijab headscarves. The grounds given were for security reasons.
After several men and women in the group became upset and began to argue among themselves, police were called and a scuffle between police and the guests ensued.
One woman, Entisai Ali was pushed to the ground and arrested after arguing with police.
The altercation escalated as the woman's brother and male cousin attempted to intervene. The men were also beaten and arrested, a friend has claimed.
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Ayman Alrabah told the Daily News that her male family members were also arrested for attempting to diffuse the situation, adding that witnessing his father getting arrested has traumatized her four-year-old son.
“We requested a refund and all of a sudden an argument became a riot,” Alrabah said. “Cops came. They were hitting my brother, my dad. My husband was on the floor and they were handcuffing him.”
According to Rye Playland policy, guests are not permitted to wear headgear on certain rides because of various safety risks.
"If somebody wears some kind of a scarf, it could be a strangling situation. On a track of a roller coaster, it could cause that ride to stop and cause injury," said a Rye Playland official.
Rye Playland insists that the Muslim American Society was properly briefed on the regulations of the park and were offered refunds.
Guests however say they were treated unfairly because they are Muslim.
"They said no because my of my 'headgear',” Ola Salem told the New York Times. “I said: ‘It’s not my headgear, it’s my religion’.”
The two, first responding park rangers were injured in the scuffle and hospitalized. Afterwards, back up was called and in what some are saying was an over-reaction, approximately 60 patrol cars and 100 police arrived on the scene.
The park entrance was closed for two hours.