After the birth of a new baby, Muslim relatives headed to a Virginia hospital just as visiting hours were ending. However, as soon as they attempted to enter the natal floor, they were confronted by a security guard. What ensued has the family suing for discrimination.
When a Muslim family headed to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, to see a family member’s newborn, they were stopped at the entrance of the third-floor birthing center. Because these natal facilities require heavy security to protect female patients and their precious cargo, a security guard immediately confronted them. The interaction that transpired has understandably made headlines.
Before the facts come out, the mainstream media love to purport that a hate crime has occurred, presenting the alleged victim’s story as fact. There is no questioning of motive or digging into the commonly suspicious details — only acting as a mouthpiece for the accusers.
According to NBC Washington, visiting hours were ending as the Zahr family headed to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital to visit Ahmed Zahr’s newborn. Once they arrived at the third floor, they were stopped by a security guard, explained Arwa Zahr, the newborn’s aunt. Clad from head to toe in black polyester, the Muslim woman claims that they then suffered religious discrimination.
“He screams and he says, ‘You’re not allowed to be here!’ And then he said, ‘You know, you look scary,'” she recalled. “I was shocked, like, ‘Did he say that?'”
Once the guard objected to Arwa and her mother’s identity-concealing veils, the family was ordered to go back downstairs. As soon as Ahmed heard that his family had been turned away, he confronted the guard, accusing him of disrespect. The guard then called the shift supervisor, who immediately intervened.
“We tried to explain to [the supervisor] our side of the story. He looked at my mother as she was trying to explain what happened, and he told her, ‘Close your mouth or I’ll kick you out,'” Ahmed Zahr recalled. “He’s telling them, ‘Nobody wants you here. The nurses don’t want you. The doctors don’t want you here.'”
Ahmed and his family claim they had done nothing wrong and were viciously set upon by the allegedly racist supervisor and guard. The family filed a discrimination complaint, claiming that they are the victims of bigotry.
“It was surprising to me. First of all, we weren’t threatening in any way. No one had done anything,” Ahmed Zahr said. “Just to be treated like that just because of the way you’re dressed. We’re been living here for, you know, 20-plus years. I haven’t witnessed discrimination to this extent.”
Although not one mainstream media outlet questioned the family’s serious claims, social media users immediately noticed contradictions and suspicious details in the family’s testimonies. Some pointed out that the report confirmed that the family was trying to enter as visiting hours were ending. Others questioned the seemingly exaggerated allegations that both the supervisor and guard said such flagrantly racist things. Some wondered if the supervisor would risk their career and jail time by openly threatening violence toward the family if they were being so cooperative.
The family ultimately left the hospital after Fairfax County police officers arrived and suggested that they go. Still, they proceeded to file a formal complaint, accusing the hospital staff of discrimination, to which Inova was forced to issue a statement.
“Inova respects and values our diverse patient community and believes that all patients have the right to a respectful, safe environment, free from all forms of discrimination. We hold our team members and contractors to the highest ethical standards, supported by a strict zero-tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind,” the statement reads.
The hospital has launched an investigation into the family’s claims, and rightfully so. However, the most disturbing aspect of the incident is the mainstream media’s willingness to accept and report the allegations as fact without even questioning the accusers.
It is the job of journalists to get to the bottom of allegations, not merely present one side of the story. In fact, the outlet reporting the story didn’t report that they even attempted to contact the security guard or supervisor for their side of the story.
Only time will tell whether the hospital staff acted as discriminatory and belligerent as the Zahr family claims. Unfortunately, the mainstream media isn’t willing to wait long enough for the facts to come out.