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Ask Subway to Apologize to Louisiana Muslim Barred from Restaurant

Pretty ridiculous. Please take the time out to request Subway to apologize for this egregious display of anti-Muslim bigotry. (h/t: JD)

Ask SUBWAY to Apologize to La. Muslim Barred from Restaurant 

CAIR is calling on all people of conscience to contact the SUBWAY restaurant chain to request that a formal apology be given to a Louisiana Muslim allegedly locked out of a sandwich shop in that state because of his faith. [SUBWAY, based in Milford, Conn., has more than 38,000 locations in 100 countries.]

A retired 63-year-old U.S. citizen of South Asian heritage who lives in New Orleans reported to CAIR that on November 21, 2012, he and his wife stopped at the SUBWAY restaurant in Shreveport, La. Before ordering, they went to the restrooms in the facility. The husband exited the restroom first and went outside the restaurant to wait for his wife in anticipation of re-entering to order their food. While his wife was still inside the restaurant, the victim attempted to re-enter, but was blocked at the door by a female SUBWAY employee who allegedly asked him “Are you Muslim?” When the victim replied that he is indeed Muslim, the SUBWAY employee reportedly responded, “We can’t serve you.”

The employee then went inside the restaurant and locked the door behind her. Fearing for his wife’s safety and distraught at the violation of his civil rights, the man called 911. When the Shreveport Police Department arrived, an officer went inside the SUBWAY restaurant and later came out to tell the victim that the manager was “scared” of him and that he “better leave.”

[NOTE: The victim is 5'6" and weighs approximately 155 pounds. He wears an Islamic cap, called a "kufi," and a beard for religious reasons. His wife, a teacher, wears an Islamic headscarf, or "hijab."]

In a letter to SUBWAY President and CEO Fred DeLuca, CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili wrote in part: “Louisiana Revised Statutes 51:2247 states that it is a ‘discriminatory practice for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement, as defined in this Chapter, on the grounds of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, disability, as defined in R.S. 51:2232(11), or national origin.’

According to the law, a place of public accommodation ‘means any place, store, or other establishment, either licensed or unlicensed, which supplies goods or services to the general public.'” Al-Khalili’s letter cited Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on account of religion in places of public accommodation and service. She also referred to the company’s diversity policy that claims SUBWAY “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, color or national origin.”

CAIR requested that SUBWAY (1) investigate this troubling incident, (2) offer a formal written apology to the victim and his wife, (3) institute policy changes that will ensure that this type of incident does not occur in the future, (4) offer compensation to the victim and his wife for the humiliation and emotional distress caused by the SUBWAY employee and the police, and (5) participate in a corporate religious sensitivity program for franchise managers. A copy of the letter was sent to Chief Willie L. Shaw, Jr. of the Shreveport Police Department and to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Immediate action requested: (As always, be polite and respectful.) Contact SUBWAY to request that they (1) investigate this troubling incident, (2) offer a formal written apology to the victim and his wife, (3) institute policy changes that will ensure that this type of incident does not occur in the future, (4) offer compensation to the victim and his wife for the humiliation and emotional distress caused by the SUBWAY employee and the police, and (5) participate in a corporate religious sensitivity program for franchise managers. CONTACT: Mr. Fred DeLuca President and CEO SUBWAY 325 Bic Drive Milford, CT 06461 Email: deluca_f@subway.com Copy to: kane_k@subway.com, winograd_l@subway.com, axelrod_l@subway.com, gayle.mcfarland@shreveportla.gov, marcus.hines@shreveportla.gov, duane.huddleston@shreveportla.gov, info@cair.com

UPDATE: Rep. John Fleming: Couple Kicked Out Not For Being Muslim But For Messing Up Bathroom, Having Ties To Terrorists (h/t: CriticalDragon)

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  • http://twitter.com/CriticalDragon1 CriticalDragon1177

    Guys, it looks like we have an update for this via Wonkette. The man who owns this particular Subway, Congressman John Fleming, claims that his employees didn’t discriminate against them because they were Muslims. He claims the couple was kicked out because they made a mess. He also says we shouldn’t trust CAIR since they’re “Hamas Linked.” I don’t think we should trust him when he says his employees didn’t discriminate against them for being Muslims, especially since he won’t release the video that he claims would vindicate them.

    Rep. John Fleming: Couple Kicked Out Not For Being Muslim But For Messing Up Bathroom, Having Ties To Terrorists
    http://wonkette.com/491665/rep-john-fleming-couple-kicked-out-not-for-being-muslim-but-for-messing-up-bathroom-having-ties-to-terrorists

  • Garibaldi

    @Dustin Barto, I’m not sure of the exact location. Here is an update from TPMMuckracker: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/john_fleming_muslim_subway.php

  • Duston Barto

    BTW, for those on the “OMG HARAAAM” kick:

    Subway offers many tasty VEGETARIAN options on the menu, that’s usually what I eat while there. Don’t judge your Muslim brothers or sisters without knowing all the facts… maybe they prefer to eat the tuna.

    Subway in general does a fantastic job in preventing cross-contamination with meat products.

  • Duston Barto

    Subways are all indie franchises, as someone else has said. When you complain to corporate, all they can really do is try to forward it to the appropriate location franchisee. Unfortunately there are dozens of Subways in Shrevport. Does anyone know the exact location so that we can take the owner to task for his/her employee’s actions?

  • Senor

    What is the address of that place and phone number. I will definately contact the corporate office, but I would like to call that store too.

  • Pamela

    How do you lock out the husband and lock the wife in?

  • http://asadullahali.wordpress.com DawahFilms

    Not that this is on-topic, but Bruce Lee was 5’5 and weighed about 132lbs in his prime.

  • mjasghar

    Erin
    It’s a franchise so there are halal ones – we have one on my local high street
    Weird thing is why not say anything when he first went in?

  • sam

    in addition to the above remedies the couple should alert their local mosques/islamic centers to no longer shop their until this racist mgr is fired

  • Khaleel Mohammed

    The issue of whether devout muslims would eat there or not is besides the point. This was a case of discrimination. The worker ought to be fired because she sure as hell knew what she was doing and probably thought that the guy was going to take it and turn the other cheek. An independently owned franchise is still answerable for its use of the Subway sign.

  • moraka

    How do you get scared of someone 5’6″ and 155 pounds. Whas the manager high and thought that the victim was a 6’6″ 350 pounds biker on steroids. Forget the corporate religious sensitivity program for franchise managers. Fire that manager for being on drugs.

  • Erin

    These restaurants serve pork products, so the more devout Muslims would never eat at such a place. The animal meat is not slaughtered in the halal way, and the pork products do have a chance of coming in contact with other products incidentally.
    The couple should file a civil suit and leave it at that. Let Subway pay for their lack of sensitivity with legal fees and a hefty settlement.

  • Heinz Catsup

    I used to enjoy Subway, but not as much nowadays. I still love the aroma of their breads, though, & it’s better than eating at, say, Mickey D’s.

    Cultural sensitivity training is a good thing, though. Besides, if they were really dangerous, wouldn’t it be obvious enough?

  • http://www.loonwatch.com Garibaldi

    @Chester @Gopher,

    No one is calling for a boycott or blaming the Subway franchise for this as your comments seem to imply.

    They are asking that Subway take appropriate action and train their employees to be culturally sensitive.

    I don’t think this ignorant lady should be terminated, at the most she should received a rebuke.

  • Gopher

    Subway restaurants are all independently owned and operated franchises. This was obviously not a policy promoted by Subway and pushed on all its franchises (MANY of which are Muslim owned). Why punish thousands of Subway franchisees and tens of thousands of employees because ONE of them is a blockhead?

  • Chester

    While I do think this is despicable, I do not thingk it is fair to ask sbuway to apologise. The woman is clearly an idiot but asking subway to apologize for her is like asking all Christians to apologize for the crusades. I am a staunch Christian and I do not apologize for the crusades. Similarly, I will continue to patronize Subway because I had a conversation with a franchise owner who was a Hindu, and though I couldn’t really understand what he was saying because of his accent, he seemed to stand in solidarity with the muslim man.

  • Daniel

    My local franchise is operated by a south Asian family, who I believe are Sikhs. I sincerely doubt if they approve of what their co-franchisees did.

  • mindy1

    Will do so as soon as I get home. I like their sandwhiches, and would hate to have to give them up.

  • Reynardine

    This is truly damned outrageous.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    @JD

    Thanks for alerting us to this. I followed the link you provided and wrote a note the people running the Subway restaurant chain and asked them to apologize.

    Oddly enough I was thinking about eating at Subway the other.

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