Pork At Issue In Doughnut Franchise Row

Chicago Tribune

Discrimination claimed in lawsuit as Muslim proprietor is threatened with loss of business. Walid Elkhatib refuses to handle or serve pork but is determined to keep his Dunkin’ Donuts shop. “What is life without dignity and your beliefs?” he said.

Every day for nearly 30 years, Walid Elkhatib has sold doughnuts. Glazed, chocolate frosted, Bavarian Kreme and other varieties. As a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, he expanded the menu to include breakfast sandwiches, such as egg and cheese bagels.

But he drew the line at serving sandwiches with sausage, ham or bacon because his Muslim faith forbids him from eating or handling pork — a departure from company policy that led Dunkin’ Donuts in 2002 to threaten it would take away his two Chicago-area franchises.

So for five years Elkhatib has been waging a legal battle against the Boston chain claiming racial bias, not religious discrimination. The federal court of appeals in Chicago last month reinstated the case, blurring the lines between religion and race.


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