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Hearing on CAIR-MI Lawsuit Against Advance America Cash Advance for Denying Service to Muslim Woman

CAIR MI logo(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 6/9/2015) - On Wednesday, June 10, Federal District Court Judge Avern Cohn will hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) against Advance America Cash Advance for denying a Muslim Arab-American woman money order services at one of its locations. The lawsuit was filed on November 12, 2014 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.

WHAT:  Hearing on CAIR-MI Lawsuit Against Advance America Cash Advance
WHERE:  United States District Court, Theodore Levin Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Boulevard, Room 225, Detroit, MI
WHEN:  Wednesday, June 10, 2 p.m.
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The lawsuit was filed in conjunction with the law firm of Akeel & Valentine, PLLC. Some or all of the proceedings may be held under seal.  Attorneys and CAIR representatives will be available for questions afterwards.

The lawsuit challenges the company’s policy that prevents Muslim and Arab-American women that wear a hijab, or religious head covering, from obtaining services at their centers. 

When Plaintiff Raghdaa Ali attempted to cash her money order at one of Advance America’s centers, she was denied entry by a company employee. She was then told by the store manager that the company’s ‘No Hats, No Sunglasses’ policy does not allow her to enter the store because she was wearing a “scarf,” and that she needed to cash her money order at “one of the bulletproof centers that don’t have that policy.”

CAIR-MI is seeking an injunction enjoining Advance America from denying Plaintiff and other Muslim and Arab-American women wearing the hijab access to its services based on their religion, race and national origin.

On February 27, Judge Cohn issued a memorandum stating that the papers “appear to favor Plaintiff’s position,” however withheld consideration of CAIR-MI’s request for an injunction until the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No-14-86, in which the plaintiff was found to have been illegally denied a job by the store because she wears a hijab. 

“Advance America Cash Advance’s policy of not serving Muslim and Arab-American women that wear the hijab, or religious head covering, is outrageous and should not be tolerated in a civilized society,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri. “We are hopeful that the Court will issue a nationwide injunction preventing Advance America Cash Advance from denying service to Muslim and Arab-American women that wear the hijab.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. 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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Lena Masri, 248-390-9784, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Attorney Shereef Akeel, 248-408-3660, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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