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Muslim family sues Cook County

Updated: December 30, 2010 8:09AM



The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) filed two complaints in Cook County Circuit Court on Wednesday, claiming employees at a park district pool discriminated against a Muslim family from Lyons based on their attire.

The family was barred entry at the Cermak Family Aquatic Center in Lyons, owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District, in 2009 because of their clothing, said attorney Christina Abraham, the oganization’s civil rights director.

A park manager first stopped the mother because of her long dress and head scarf, Abraham said. After the mother agreed to leave, the manager denied entry to the father and children, saying their trunks were made of the wrong material.

“They were wearing T-shirts and would have taken the T-shirts off once they were inside,” Abraham said.

In October, CAIR-Chicago field a discrimination claim and received a favorable ruling from the Illinois Department of Human Rights, which found substantial evidence in favor of the family’s claims.

“People go into the aquatic center all the time in plain clothes,” Abraham said.

One complaint requests the court force the county to take action. The other complaint seeks monetary compensation to be determined.



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