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Anam Manam

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A 25-year-old British neuroscience student was turned down by an Airbnb host who said she wouldn't "fit into” the neighborhood because of her hijab. 

BuzzFeed News obtained several screenshots of a conversation between Airbnb host "Claudia" and Nurjahan Saleque, who was seeking a short-term Hamburg, Germany, apartment while she pursues her Ph.D. in the city. Looking to move closer to the city center, Saleque repeatedly inquired why the Airbnb host denied her request to stay at the apartment before returning to London, before being told her photo wearing a traditional Muslim veil meant she would not be welcomed into the complex. 

"I'm sorry Nurjahan but as I saw you were wearing a veil I don't think you'd fit into our neighborhood," responded Airbnb host "Claudia," in the screenshots obtained by BuzzFeed. "The apartment is free in that time."

Saleque said she had to re-read the message to make sure she was not "mistaken" before seeking advice from friends and ultimately sending a lengthy response to the host. Saleque ridiculed the host for rejecting her based solely on a shallow, xenophobic mindset. 

“It’s a shocking reflection of you to know that you judged me as a person based on a garment of clothing that is meant to demonstrate respect,” she wrote. “I’m saddened that you live in such a home and neighborhood where you feel that I could not be accepted based on this.”

Airbnb has since banned the host from the platform entirely and cited their terms of service as cause for her outright removal. 

"As soon as we learned about this terrible incident, we removed the host from our community and offered the guest our full support," Airbnb said in a statement. “All Airbnb users must sign on to our Community Commitment and treat everyone in the Airbnb community with respect and without judgement or bias.”

Saleque told BuzzFeed she received an apology from Airbnb company representatives and they gave her funds to find a different place.

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