Sarii Ghalab, Edmonton Muslim Teen, Forgives Store Owner After Being Refused Service

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Edmonton Shoe Repair

A Muslim teen says she forgives an Edmonton store owner after he reportedly refused to serve her because she was wearing a burka.

Sarii Ghalab, 19, says she went to Edmonton Shoe Repair in Northgate Mall get the heel on one of her shoes fixed, but was turned away because of how she was dressed, according to CBC News.

In a Reddit post about the incident, Ghalab's sibling claimed the store owner told Ghalab, "ethical beliefs do not permit him to deal with such people."

Instead of complaining, Ghalab says she wrote a letter to the store's owner, Ryan Vale, explaining her choice to wear a burka and asked him to treat future Muslim customers with compassion.

She attempted to deliver the letter along with a bouquet of flowers, but was turned down.

"Just like it is in my values to dress this way, it is also in my values and beliefs as a Muslim that I respond to what is hurtful with kindness and compassion," reads the letter, which Ghalab shared with CBC News.

'No-mask policy'

Vale says he didn't ban Ghalab from the store for religious reasons, but did so because her face was covered.

We have a no-mask policy in the store,” Vale told the Edmonton Sun. He added he has signage in the store asking for customers to show their faces for security reasons.

In the Reddit post, Ghalab's sibling alleges Vale told Ghalab not to touch anything in the store, and that when she went to the mall's management, they said it wasn't the first time someone had complained.

According to the Alberta Human Rights Act, it's prohibited to deny goods or services to an individual on the grounds of race or religion.

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