Could a woman be strangled by her hijab, ala Isadora Duncan, who died in 1927 when the long fluttery scarf around her neck floated out of her convertible, tangled around a hubcap and snapped her neck?

Apparently the folks at Rye Playland seem to think so, which is why they ban “headgear” on some of their rides.  Yesterday, this ban resulted in a scuffle and about thirteen people being detained, when several Muslim women were told to remove their hijabs before riding the Dragon Rollercoaster.  A spokesperson for the amusement park said “if someone wears a scarf, it could be a strangling situation.”

The hijab is wrapped tightly around the head, pinned into place, and then draped around the shoulders. Unless it’s coupled with another veil, a hijab rarely comes down as far as the elbow.  So for a “strangling situation” to occur, the pins would have to fly off the woman’s head, the scarf would have to unwind from around her hair but stay wound around her neck–and still have enough length to dangle out of the roller-coaster car and tangle under the wheels.

Seems like kind of a longshot, if you ask me.

I wonder what else might account for this particular ban? Do you think the fact that these women were part of an entire group of Muslims at the park celebrating Eid had anything to do with it? You know, a big group of Them, in one place, dressed all weird in veils and stuff?

Nah…I’m sure that cultural suspicions had nothing to do with the fight, the arrests, or the request to take off the scarf.

Just safety.


thanks to @knickerbockerny for bringing this incident to my attention!