Press Release: Muslim Family Receives Favorable Ruling in Discrimination Complaint

Illinois Department of Human Rights Confirms Unlawful Discrimination

(CHICAGO, 10/15/10) – The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) received a favorable ruling today from the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) regarding a discrimination complaint filed against a Cook County recreational pool on behalf of a Muslim family.

The family had been banned from entering the children’s water park, because, according to the park manager, their clothing violated park rules. First the mother was stopped because of her long dress and headscarf. When the mother agreed to leave and allow the rest of her family to enter the facility, the father and young children were then prevented from entering because park officials said their swimming trunks were not made with the right material.

Friends and family who did not wear the headscarf later entered the same water park fully clothed in their regular attire without any problems.

CAIR-Chicago filed a charge of discrimination with the IDHR who conducted an investigation and found substantial evidence in favor of the Muslim family’s claims. The IDHR also concluded that the family was not held to the same standards as other customers, saying there is sufficient evidence that the family was wrongly denied “full and equal enjoyment” of the facilities and that the reasons for their denial are “pretext for unlawful discrimination.”

“This incident is a blatant example of anti-Muslim discrimination, as the Illinois Department of Human Rights has affirmed,” said CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham. “Everyone is entitled to the equal enjoyment of public places. We will continue to challenge this sort of discrimination wherever it occurs.”

CAIR-Chicago will consider litigation if the matter cannot be resolved.

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CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of the largest Muslim civil liberties group, which has 35 chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CONTACT:
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 312.212.1520 or 202.870.0166, E-Mail: arehab@cair.com; CAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinator, Amina Sharif, 312.212.1520 or 630-935-5562, E-Mail: asharif@cair.com