A Muslim woman has claimed she was the victim of discrimination after she was allegedly told to leave a venue for wearing a hijab.
The Melbourne woman was at a celebratory dinner with her teammates at the Tewantin-Noosa RSL and Citizens Memorial Club in Queensland after competing at a national badminton tournament.
The 35-year-old Australian-born, identified only as Hijran, claimed she was lining up to order dinner when a staff member approached her, asking: 'Excuse me, can I ask what it is that you're wearing?'
Hijran responded, saying she was wearing a headscarf, which was required as part of her Muslim faith - but the staff allegedly said she was not suitably dressed as per the venue's policy.
'The staff member informed me I would normally be asked to leave the premises for wearing a headscarf as that was RSL's rules and regulations,' Hijran claimed.
'Embarrassed and not wanting to create a scene, I politely asked to stay to attend the club's dinner and was told I would be permitted to stay on that occasion.'
Hijran also claimed the staff said she would have to leave the venue if it was a 'regular occurrence'.
'My team members who were with me at the time were very supportive but unaware of how shaken up I was by the incident - I stayed, anxiously ate my meal and left,' she claimed.
'I felt as though all eyes were on me.
Hijran, who is of Turkish origin, said she had ancestors who served in World War I and felt 'deeply saddened by the RSL's treatment'.
According to the dress regulations on the RSL's website, head gears are not permitted at the venue unless the 'Board is satisfied that such is required for reasons acceptable'.
RSL's chief executive Phil Stevenson told Brisbane Times the staff member was unaware what the woman was wearing on her head but she was allowed to stay when told it was for religious beliefs.
'The duty manager on the night describes the head attire as being a white lacey piece of material underneath a bright floral scarf which made our duty manager unsure if it was for religious reasons therefore [it] needed to be clarified by asking the lady,' he said.
Following the incident, Geelong Ladies Badminton Club competitor Margaret Dwyer penned an angry message on the RSL's Facebook page in response to the action.
'A Vic [sic] team went along to the Noosa-Tewantin RSL the other night and one of them was asked to leave. The reason: She is a Muslim and she wore a headscarf,' Ms Dwyer said.
'Her team mates showed support and left the facility too, but imagine how she felt! This is not good enough in Australia today. It is actually illegal to discriminate and I am incensed.'
Ms Dwyer went on to say the tournament organisers have also suggested boycotting the venue in support of 'our fellow badminton sister'.
'NOT HAPPY. REVIEW YOUR SLOGAN 'All visitors welcome' because clearly they are not!' she added.
The matter has been reported to the Islamophobia Register Australia and an investigation into the incident is underway.
Founder and president of the register Mariam Veiszadeh told Daily Mail Australia the incident could be potentially in breach of State and Federal Anti-Discrimination laws.
'This is a rather disturbing incident which has broader implications,' Ms Veiszadeh said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Tewantin-Noosa RSL and Citizens Memorial Club for comment.
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