First off, it’s a sad day when you have to read the Manchester Guardian in the UK to find out what is happening to religious liberty in the U.S. The Guardian reports:
An Arab-American owner of a Chicago-area Dunkin’ Donuts store has to give up his franchise after he lost his long-running legal battle with the restaurant chain over his religious objections to selling pork products.
The dietary restrictions of Elkhatib’s Muslim faith forbid him from eating or handling pork. When he decided to go into the restaurant business, his faith was one of the reasons he invested in Dunkin’ Donuts in 1979. The chain did not introduce breakfast sandwiches until 1984.
For nearly 20 years, Dunkin’ Donuts accommodated his religious beliefs, even providing him signs for his store that said, “No meat products available,” Elkhatib asserted in court documents. But in 2002, the company reversed course and told him it would not renew his franchise agreement if he did not sell its full line of products.
It’s too bad that Dunkin’ Donuts would rather drive a business owner away rather than continue a reasonable accommodation of American religious diversity. There is a bit of good news, though:
Elkhatib’s lawyer, Robert Habib, said his client will end his association with Dunkin’ Donuts, but he has a 10-year lease on the property and owns the equipment.
Hopefully folks in the Chicago area will still be able to pick up a tasty breakfast treat.