ABC: Muslim Family Sues Forest Preserve for Discrimination

The Cook County Forest Preserve is being sued by a Muslim family who claims religious discrimination because they were denied admission to a swimming facility.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed two complaints in Circuit Court on behalf of Mahmoud Yaqub, his wife, and two children.

Yaqub says in August of 2009 they tried to enter the county’s Cermak Family Aquatic Center, but were turned away because he and his wife weren’t wearing swimsuits. He says they weren’t planning to swim, only to supervise their kids. He says they had been admitted previously while not wearing swimsuits.

“A week later, I sent my sister to go to the water park. My sister doesn’t wear the Muslim veil on her head. She went in a running suit, or pajama. She wasn’t wearing swimming trunks. The same lady that denied us entry let my sister in, with no problem,” said Yaqub.

Yaqub says the center admits many adults who don’t wear swimsuits. According to CAIR, the Illinois Department of Human Rights found evidence of discrimination in the case.

The forest preserve was unavailable for comment.