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Illinois Muslim Worker Files Bias Suit

The Chicago office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) today announced that a Muslim
worker in Illinois filed a religious and national origin discrimination
lawsuit against a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck and Co., one of the nation’s
largest retailers.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois (Eastern Division), alleges that employees of Sears Logistics
Services repeatedly called the Muslim plaintiff “Bin Ladin,” “Taliban,”
“terrorist,” and “crazy Muslim.” They also allegedly mocked the plaintiff’s
Middle Eastern accent and asked if he was going to blow up the building.
The harassment continued despite what the lawsuit said were the plaintiff’s
repeated objections to the employees and to supervisors.

In fact, the lawsuit states that a company manager told the Muslim worker
that: “”¦as a result of 9/11, and as a result of Plaintiff’s appearance and
accent, Plaintiff should get used to being treated differently.”

On November 14, 2003, the Muslim employee filed a charge of religion and
national origin discrimination with the EEOC. On November 28, 2003, the
worker was terminated for allegedly being a total of six minutes late to
work over the course of three days. The plaintiff says he arrived at work
on time on all three days.

The lawsuit seeks reinstatement of the Muslim employee, back wages, as well
as other compensatory and punitive damages.

“Given America’s increasingly diverse workforce, employers must learn to
address issues related to religious, ethnic and national origin
discrimination,” said CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Yaser Tabbara.

Tabbara said CAIR publishes a booklet, called “An Employer’s Guide to
Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to prevent just such incidents. The
booklet is available by e-mailing: Include name, address
and phone number when requesting the booklet.)

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 28 regional
offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

– END –

CAIR-Chicago, Yaser Tabbara, 312-718-3725;
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


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