A Muslim woman from Massachusetts filed a discrimination complaint against food chain giant McDonald's for intentionally adding bacon to the fish sandwich she ordered for her children.

A Muslim Woman Fights Back Against Discrimination

The Council on American Islamic Relations announced on Wednesday, as per WGEM, that they filed the complaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on behalf of the woman, Ghadir Alahmar. The New York Post highlighted that the incident took place 80 miles west of Boston, in a McDonald's Chicopee branch.

In a statement dated June 1, Council on American Islamic Relations Legal Director Barbara Dougan explained that the complaint is the initial step they are undertaking to seek monetary damages from McDonald's. Dougan hopes that this will teach McDonald's to avoid a similar future incident by training their employees appropriately.

"Anti-Muslim bias takes many forms. But you can't go much lower than tampering with the food of a young child. We hope that McDonald's will find these actions as appalling as we do, and take all needed measures to ensure that something like this never happens again at the Chicopee store or any other location. Religious discrimination at a place of public accommodation is not only illegal, but also morally reprehensible," Dougan said.

CAIR stressed in the complaint the McDonald branch's employees willfully and maliciously added the bacon despite repeated orders made by Alahmar for a plain fish sandwich. The discriminatory acts of McDonald's employees violate the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 272, Section 98, which stipulates the right to full accommodations in public accommodation.

The advocacy group stressed in the statement that they have seen a series of Islamophobic incidents in various states in the past few weeks, such as in Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, and Vermont. The said incidents involve a mosque shooting in West Detroit, an assault on Muslim girls at a Clifton Nail Salon, racist harassment against Colorado Avalanche's Muslim hockey player Nazeem Kadri, and Vermont College's Muslim prayer space poured with urine that is being investigated for bias motive.

McDonald's Employees' Ill Treatment Of A Muslim Woman

According to the complaint, Alahmar, a permanent US resident who migrated from Yemen in 2014, entered the McDonald's store on Meadow Street with her twin seven-year-old sons. She was visibly a Muslim for she was wearing the "hijab" along with the "abaya," which is a long modest dress women of her faith often wore; and the Islamic headscarf.

The mother and her sons arrived at the store at 6:30 p.m. on June 29, 2021 with no other customers ahead of them at the counter. A young white female employee was talking with a young male employee about going on a break and did not attend to her immediately. The female employee only took her order after the male employee left for his break.

Also Read: Orthodox Christian Woman Sues McDonalds For Irresistible Cheeseburger Ad That Tempted Her To Break Her Lenten Fast

Alahmar ordered a plain fish sandwich and told the female employee her son will repeat her order in case her accent makes it difficult to understand. One of her sons then repeated her order for a plain fish sandwich and even emphasized "nothing but fish." He repeated the order before adding fries and cookies. Then they paid for their order and waited for their food.

The female employee went inside the kitchen and was not seen since then. A Hispanic male employee then came out of the kitchen and attended to the order of a woman and her three children that came in minutes after Alahmar paid for their order. The woman's order arrived shortly and yet Alahmar's order has not arrived. Alahmar then followed up their order from the Hispanic male employee who went inside and also disappeared from their site.

The Muslim woman's order arrived around ten minutes later through a Hispanic female employee who brought it out of the kitchen. Alahmar and her sons immediately left the store and went to a nearby school playground where they intended to eat their food.

Sadly, one of the twins immediately discovered that his sandwich had bacon in it. The bacon strip was not only one piece but actually more than what was normally served by the store, the complaint stressed. There were three to four pieces of bacon strips in the sandwich.

Alahmar then discovered from the receipt that she was charged $1.99 for the bacon strips that she did not even order in the first place. She then told the matter to her husband when he arrived home that night. The husband then immediately went to McDonald's with the ordered items and receipt and was refunded for it in full. The store's manager demonstrated to the husband that it would be impossible for the employees to mistakenly have ordered the bacon for the fish sandwich because the buttons for each are separate on the order screen.

Upset and angry at the treatment received from McDonald's employees, the children asked Alahmar why did they do this to them and whether they hated them. Alahmar said the questions her children pose were difficult for a mother to respond to, especially since they are in their own country. She said, as per the Daily Beast, that the food chain store made her and her children "feel unwanted and worthless."

Alahmar signed the verification of the complaint filed by CAIR just last April 19.

Last year, a similar incident happened with a UK branch of McDonald's where an Orthodox Christian sued the store for advertising during Lent an irresistible cheeseburger ad. The woman said the ad tempted her and made her break her devout commitment to strictly adhere to fast from meat and meat products during the Lenten Season as all Christians do so.

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