Zara hasn’t banned women wearing hijab from its stores

22 July 2022
What was claimed

Zara just made a decision in France not to let any women wearing hijab enter their stores.

Our verdict

False. This claim originally dates from 2015, but it was not Zara’s company policy then and isn’t now. There was an incident in 2015 at one store in Paris when staff denied entry to a Muslim woman, but they were later sanctioned by the company for this.

Claims that the clothing retailer Zara has “just made a decision” in France to ban women from wearing hijab, the Islamic headscarf, in its stores have resurfaced on social media.

This is false.

The claim has been “frequently forwarded” on WhatsApp and appears in many iterations on Facebook. Posts show a screenshot of an older Facebook post from 2015, though the fact this is an old post isn’t clearly indicated.

The claim was originally made after a clip showing a Zara security guard in Paris refusing entry to a woman wearing the hijab went viral.

The video was uploaded to YouTube shortly after the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015.

At the time, Zara responded to criticism of the incident on Twitter, stating it was not its company policy. It also responded to the Facebook user behind the original post. That user later publicised the company’s response, though that update hasn’t been included in many of the posts which have been reshared in recent days.

Zara said to the Facebook user: “We would like to sincerely apologise for what has happened. Our country head in France has personally contacted this customer to apologise for the incident and to express our utter disagreement with such actions, which are completely opposite to the principles of our company.”

It was reported at that time that Zara “sanctioned” staff involved

Speaking about the latest claims we’ve seen on social media, a Zara spokesperson told Full Fact: “We can confirm that Zara company policy allows women wearing hijab to enter its stores worldwide.” 

Image courtesy of Ryan McKnight

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