A Muslim man from Michigan is suing Little Caesars Pizza for $100 million after he was reportedly given a pizza with pork pepperoni that he accidentally ate, despite saying he ordered halal pepperoni.
Islam prohibits its faithful from eating pork. The class action lawsuit was filed in Mayne County Circuit Court on Thursday, and it claims that Little Caesar’s violated Michigan State Law 750.297f, which is known as the “Wayne County Halal and Kosher Anti-Fraud and Truth-in-labelling ordinance.”
Little Caesars faces lawsuit after allegedly serving Muslim man with pork instead of halal
The plaintiff was identified as Mohamad Bazzi, as defendants are Little Caesars Pizza, Little Ceaser Enterprises, Inc., a manager called Denise and two unnamed employees.
“They have no regard for people’s religious beliefs,” said Majed Moughni, Bazzi’s attorney, according to The Detroit News. “This is a violation of the Muslim faith. You can’t be handing out pork, mislabeling it as halal and get away with it. This isn’t how America operates. A billion dollar corporation can’t get away with it.”
Halal is Arabic for permission, and it is food which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran. The Islamic way of slaughtering animals, dhabiha, involves killing them through a cut to the jugular, carotid, and windpipe. Then, the blood is drained from the carcass. During the process, a Muslim recites a dedication, known as tasmiya or shahada.
Bazzi, a 32-year-old, said that in two separate incidents -one in March and then in May- he received pizzas with pork pepperoni when he had ordered halal pepperoni.
A spokeswoman for Little Caesars Pizza, Jill Proctor, said in a statement that the company thinks the claim is without merit.
“Little Caesars cherishes our customers from all religions and cultures, and the communities we serve are very important to us,” said Proctor in a statement, according to The Detroit News. “While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we take this claim very seriously.”
Muslim man suing Little Caesars claims he received two pork pizzas
Bazzi argues that on March 20 he went to the Little Caesars at 7315 Schaefer, which has a sign in the window that says that halal pepperoni is available at the location. He said he ordered a large pizza with halal pepperoni and received a box that was labeled as halal. Bazzi and his wife began eating the pizza and realized they were eating pork pepperoni instead.
His attorney said that Bazzi and his wife became sick to their stomach at once. Moughni stated that his wife is a Catholic converted to Islam who had eaten pork all her life and that she knows how pork tastes. The attorney added that Bazzi was furious and upset.
Moughni noted his client wondered how many others had unknowingly eaten pork from the pizzeria. Three days after the incident, Bazzi filed a police report with the Dearborn Police Department, as reported in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims that Bazzi returned to the restaurant on Wednesday to order another pizza and specifically requested halal pepperoni. He alleges that he received a pork pepperoni pizza again.
At the advice of his lawyer, Bazzi returned to the restaurant to question the employees and to record the conversation. According to Moughni, the manager said that Bazzi asked for a Hot-n-Ready pepperoni pizza and that he requested a halal sticker be placed on the box. Bazzi denies that claim.
The lawsuit was filed the day of Ramadan, a holiday in which Muslims fast every day from dawn until sunset for 30 days. Moughni explained his client was concerned that other Muslims might purchase a pizza to break their fasts.
Source: The Detroit News