Barnes & Noble has apologized to Dr. Omar Amin who was kicked out of one of its stores for browsing the children’s section on his own.
Dr. Omar Amin, 73, from Scottsdale, Arizona, said he was asked to leave after a female shopper told a worker she felt uneasy about his presence.
Dr. Omar Amin, who is a world-renowned researcher of infectious diseases, said he was buying books for his two grandchildren.
“This is an insult to all men not just to me,” he told Azfamily.com.
“I left the store. I was upset like hell because I’ve been so insulted and humiliated in public for the charge of being a man.”
In a complaint to the store Dr. Omar Amin wrote: “I did not break any rules. There was no sign posted that said men are not allowed in the children’s book area.”
He said he had been looking for books for his five and seven-year-old grandchildren when his phone rang.
Dr. Omar Amin sat on the floor by the store’s windows so he could talk to his friend, which he did quietly, he said.
But a store worker interrupted the call and told him to leave, he said.
Dr. Omar Amin said he was humiliated when the employee “escorted me out as a potential sex offender”.
He is reportedly now considering legal action following the May 4 incident.
Arizona State University law professor Charles Calleros told the Arizona Republic that Dr. Omar Amin could have a case for gender discrimination.
If women without children are allowed to shop in the children’s section, “then we arguably have gender discrimination”, he said.
Barnes & Noble vice president Mark Bottini released a statement on Monday apologizing to Dr. Omar Amin.
“We want to apologize to Dr. Amin for a situation in which Dr. Amin was asked to leave the children’s section of our Scottsdale, Arizona store,” he said.
“We should not have done so. It is not our policy to ask customers to leave any section of our stores without justification.
“We value Dr. Amin as a customer and look forward to welcoming him in any of our stores.”
Dr. Omar Amin, the director of Parasitology Center Inc. in Scottsdale, wrote to Barnes & Noble to complain.
“It’s not enough. I want my honor restored,” he told msnbc.com.
“I want to walk back into the store with my head held up high. I did not break any rules. My pride has been scratched.”