Muslim family claims bias at pool owned by county
Thursday, December 30, 2010
by Steve Metsch
The Chicago office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations filed two complaints Wednesday in Cook County
Circuit Court claiming employees at a public pool discriminated
against a Muslim family from Lyons based on their attire.
The family was barred from entering the Cermak
Family Aquatic Center in Lyons, owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve
District, in 2009 because of their clothing, said attorney Christina
Abraham, the organization’s civil rights director.
A manager stopped the mother because she was
wearing a long dress and head scarf, Abraham said. After she agreed to
leave, the manager denied entry to the father and children, saying their
swimming trunks were made of the wrong material. “They were wearing
T-shirts and would have taken the T-shirts off once they were inside,”
In October, CAIR-Chicago filed a discrimination
claim and received a favorable ruling from the Illinois Department of
“People go into the aquatic center all the time in plain clothes,” Abraham said.
One complaint asks the court to force the county to take action. The other seeks monetary compensation.
County officials could not be reached for comment.