IL: Crestwood Theater is Accused of Bias



Three Arab men who were ejected from a Crestwood movie theater this year filed a complaint Wednesday with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

The men, all of Palestinian descent, said they were unfairly targeted and discriminated against when security guards at Loews Cineplex ushered them out of an evening showing of "The Passion of the Christ" on Feb. 28, according to the complaint...

The men--Ahmad Hasan, 20, and Ali Abed, 16, both of Alsip, and Ahmad Allan, 24, of Justice--are asking Loews for an apology as well as sensitivity training for the security guards involved, said their lawyer, Kamran Memon. They also may ask Loews for an undisclosed amount of damages, Memon said...

The men arrived at the multiplex about 7:30 p.m. and bought tickets to the 9 p.m. showing of the Mel Gibson movie, but could not find three seats together, according to the complaint.

A woman sitting next to three empty seats said the seats were occupied.

But Allan told her they would sit there and leave if someone showed up to claim the seats, the complaint said.

"I came at her very politely but she became very profane," Allan said.

The woman left and returned with two theater security guards who grabbed Allan's arm and escorted him and his friends into the theater's lobby, the complaint said. As Hasan spoke to Allan in Arabic, one of the guards told them to speak English because "this is America," according to the document.

One guard mocked the men's accent and another suggested the three might be carrying a bomb, it said. They were forced to leave without seeing the rest of the movie, the complaint said...

 


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