Penn. Muslim Files Bias Suit Against McDonald’s & Wal-Mart

(PHILADELPHIA, PA 7/10/08) – The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-PA) today announced the filing of a lawsuit against a McDonald’s franchise and a Wal-Mart store in that state by a Muslim woman who says she was refused service because of her Islamic headscarf, or hijab. The woman is suing under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the suit, the plaintiff entered the Allentown McDonald’s in August of last year and was verbally accosted and refused service by the restaurant manager. The plaintiff says her pleas for equal treatment were treated with laughter as other patrons were served. She then allegedly sought the assistance of a Wal-Mart manager, who instead of helping, asked her to leave the store. (The McDonald’s is located in the Wal-Mart store.)

Attempts by the plaintiff’s attorney to address the situation directly with both companies have been reportedly been ignored.

To view the full complaint, go to:

“This complaint is eerily similar to a recent ABC ‘Primetime’ hidden camera segment in which actors staged discriminatory treatment of a Muslim women to gauge bystander reaction,” said CAIR-PA Civil Rights Director Marwa El-Turky. “Unfortunately, her ordeal was no hidden camera experiment.”

SEE: Encountering Prejudice (ABC)

CAIR-PA is calling on both companies to address issues raised by the complaint and to take proactive measures to ensure that all customers are treated with dignity and respect.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group and has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties, and empower American Muslims.

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