WLS 890 AM: Muslim Family Claims County Violated their Rights at Pool

Two lawsuits were filed Wednesday on behalf of a Muslim family which was allegedly barred from entering a Cook County recreational pool last year because of their clothing.

According to a release from the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the family filed two complaints against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

A park manager first stopped the mother because of her long dress and headscarf, the release said.

When the mother agreed to leave so the rest of her family could enter, the father and young children were prevented from entering because park officials said their swimming trunks were not made of the right material, the release said.

Friends and family who did not wear the headscarf later entered the same water park fully clothed in regular attire without problems, the group claims in the release.

In October, CAIR-Chicago filed a charge of discrimination and received a favorable ruling from the Illinois Dept. of Human Rights, which conducted an investigation and found “substantial evidence” in favor of the family’s claims, the release said.

The IDHR concluded there is sufficient evidence the family was wrongly denied “full and equal employment” of the facilities and the reasons for the denial are “pretext for unlawful discrimination,” the release said.

One of the complaints was filed in the Chancery division for injunctive relief, requesting the court to force the county to take action. The other complaint has been filed in the Municipal department, requesting other relief, the release said.