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Muslim Leaders Criticize Police Response to Scuffle
by Dan Bilefsky
Muslim civil rights leaders on Wednesday accused the authorities of using excessive force after a Westchester County amusement park's restrictions on head coverings provoked a scuffle a day earlier that led to the arrest of 15 people.
About 3,000 visitors from a Muslim tour group were at Playland park in Rye on Tuesday afternoon celebrating the end of Ramadan when a dispute erupted after women wearing traditional hijabs, or head scarves, were told they could not wear them on certain rides, for safety reasons.
Among the rides that headwear is prohibited on is the Dragon Coaster, on which riders plunge 128 feet before being hurled into the mouth of a smoke-emitting dragon. However, headwear, including the hijab, is allowed on the Double Shot, in which passengers, harnessed in cars, are rocketed up an 85-foot tower in less than two seconds before being shot back down at a nausea-inducing force of what the park says is "negative-one G."
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