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Muslim couple in Michigan files civil rights complaint against Tim Hortons


A Muslim couple says they were subjected to racist taunts by a black Tim Hortons employee in Ypsilanti. They say the employee told them to “go back to their country."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan (CAIR-MI) is working with the couple. It's filing a civil rights complaint to the Michigan's Department of Civil Rights, against the company.

"People are being judged based on the color of their skin, or whether or not they are wearing religious clothing or if they have an accent on their, their American-ness," said Amy Doukorue, the couple's attorney.

Ameur Dhaimini is the husband and his name is on the complaint. The complaint says he and his wife, Alaa Kouider, went to get coffee at Tim Hortons on S. Hewitt Road in Ypsilanti. Dhaimini was born in Algeria and his wife Kouider was born in Lansing. He claims to have paid for the drink he ordered twice, but was refused adequate service. The complaint reads:

When Complainant and his wife entered Respondent’s location attempting to have the coffee fixed so that it was the way that they ordered it, the Respondent’s clerk started yelling at them and saying that she wasn’t going to serve them.

The couple says they tired to talk with Tim Hortons, but when they couldn't get through they contacted CAIR-MI.

"When they came here we watched the video and we decided since Tim Hortons didn't want to acknowledge what had happened, that we would file a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and investigate whether or not the worker at Tim Hortons engaged in an act of unlawful discrimination against our clients," said Doukorue.

The civil rights organization says there's been a jump in hate speech against American Muslims since Donald Trump's election.

Tim Hortons says:

We always want team members and guests to have a positive, welcoming and rewarding experience at our restaurants. Franchisees are independent and responsible for all employment matters. The team member involved in this incident has been terminated by the franchise as Tim Hortons does not tolerate any type of harassment in the workplace.

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