Islington Council to consider future of McDonald’s restaurants in borough following Seven Sisters Road hijab incident

PUBLISHED: 08:44 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:11 14 December 2017

Islington Cllr Rakhia Ismail led a protest outside the Seven Sisters Road branch of McDonald's in Holloway on Saturday, after a customer was refused service for refusing to remove her hijab. Picture: Stand Up To Racism

Islington Cllr Rakhia Ismail led a protest outside the Seven Sisters Road branch of McDonald's in Holloway on Saturday, after a customer was refused service for refusing to remove her hijab. Picture: Stand Up To Racism


Islington Council is considering the future of McDonald’s restaurants across the borough after a woman wearing a hijab was refused service in the Seven Sisters Road branch in Holloway.

A video of the incident, in which she was told to remove her headscarf by a security guard on November 30, was shared thousands of times online.

At Thursday night’s full council meeting, leader Cllr Richard Watts (Lab, Tollington) said community development leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz (Lab, Junction) was looking into the “licensing implications” for restaurants in the borough. This could impact their opening hours.

Cllr Watts said: “This was an appalling act. It’s part of a slippery slope which led to the Finsbury Park terror attack in June. This is a daily experience for many Muslim women.”

He was responding after Cllr Rakhia Ismail (Lab, Holloway) tabled an emergency motion about the incident. She led a protest outside the restaurant last Saturday.

It was agreed Cllr Watts would write to the chief executive of McDonald’s UK, demanding a formal apology for the victim and for McDonald’s to “urgently” re-train staff on hate crime awareness. The council will also rally more people and companies to sign up to its anti-hate crime pledge.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green, Highbury East), Islington’s sole opposition member, backed the motion and said: “Even by the deplorable ethical standards of that company this incident is chilling.

“I welcome the news other aspects of the way McDonald’s conduct business in the borough are being looked at from a licensing perspective and I look forward to hearing the conclusions.”

On Friday, when asked by the Gazette to go into further details about the “licensing implications”, Cllr Watts said he was unable to comment for fear of prejudicing any future legal cases.

McDonald’s said it’s “deeply sorry” about the incident, and has suspended the security guard in question.

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories


Jeremy Corbyn has criticised “disgusting” treatment of the Windrush generation – including a number of his Islington North constituents.


We held a local elections hustings last night. Sadly, barely anyone turned up. There was still good debate, though. James Morris reports from St Mary’s Church in Upper Street.


Police are trying to track down a prolific shoplifter who assaulted a man and has twice pulled weapons when confronted about stealing booze from Tesco in Stroud Green Road.

Yesterday, 16:28

Police are appealing for information on Islington teenager Marcus Simmonds, who has been missing from his St Paul’s Road home since Saturday.

Yesterday, 15:50

A man has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon as murder police continue to investigate the stabbing of 20-year-old Kwasi Anim-Boadu on the Andover Estate.

Yesterday, 15:43

In a weekly feature, we profile and champion a fascinating shop or company doing business here in Islington. This week, we visited Newington Green’s Acoustic: Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite restaurant.

Yesterday, 11:37

A parent has called for greater police presence in troubled Rosemary Gardens after a huge brawl yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday, 11:05

Islington South and Finsbury MP Chris Smith offered himself as a “swap” for hostages on a hijacked Kuwaiti airliner.


“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now