SHAFAQNA – A famous hijab fashion house photo shoot was swarmed by police officers who mistook the white and pink clothes for “Islamic flags”, which sparked angry criticism on social media.
“I’m still baffled by how the police could have mistaken ordinary looking garments for flags,” the owner of Sydney label Hijab House, Tarik Houchar, was quoted by The Daily Mail.
“I’m saddened by it all. We were definitely targeted because we had models that were in a hijab.”
The incident occurred on Monday when at least five officers interrupted the fashion shoot outside the Victoria Barracks army base museum in the west of Sydney on Sunday, according to The Australian.
Houchar, who lives in Sydney, claimed that officers asked the group to remove the clothes from where they had been hanging on a fence.
NSW Police confirmed they approached the group, which included a stylist and photographer, and took down their personal details.
Questioning the officers’ ‘intimidating’ way, Houchar said one officer allegedly said it was because of ‘things happening overseas’.
A video taken by Murat Turkeli reportedly shows police talking to Mr Houchar and his staff as well as some of the models.
“Police spoke with a group of people outside Victoria Barracks in Paddington yesterday,” a spokesman for NSW Police said.
“Officers established the group were holding a fashion shoot at the location. Once those involved realised their location, the garments were removed from the wall.
“Their details were taken and inquiries were made. Police left the area and it is believed the parties remained in the area. No further action was taken.”
Feeling targeted, Houchar took to the Facebook to criticize the police for interrupting the ‘small scale, beautiful and peaceful’ photo shoot.
“So apparently in modern day Australia, this is now classified as War/cult paraphernalia,” he wrote after sharing an image of some of the clothes hanging on the fence.
“You might have to stop hanging your clothes on the clothesline; you’ll have police swooping in on your yards.
“They were being proactive but there could have been a complain we didn’t know about. Although that would surprise me as the photo shoot was so small scale and beautiful/peaceful.”
The white, mint and pink garments from Hijab House were part of a new line of clothes the fashion label was releasing.
Described as ‘one of the world’s largest hijab fashion brands that offers the latest looks to young hijabis,’ Hijab House believes they were targeted because of models wearing hijabs.
Founded in 2011, the fashion label has more than 120,000 Instagram followers and over 270,000 likes on Facebook.
Hijab House describes itself as ‘one of the world’s largest hijab fashion brands that offers the latest looks to young hijabis’.