A man in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan is suing Little Caesars for $100 million. He claims that he was served pepperoni made with pork. He accidentally ate the meat which is banned by Islamic law.
Mohamad Bazzi ordered halal pizza twice from this store in Dearborn. He claims the boxes were marked ‘halal’ but had regular pepperoni:
Majed Moughni, Bazzi’s attorney, said he rushed to file the lawsuit Thursday, the eve of Ramadan, so no other Muslims would accidentally eat pork from the pizza shop during the holiday.
“It’s really upsetting,” Moughni said. “My clients want the public to know. Especially during Ramadan, it would be a travesty if Muslims … in Dearborn bought pizza from Little Caesars and discovered they were eating pork.”
He added that for a Muslim, consuming pork is “one of the worst sins you can do.”
But so far, Little Caesars is not backing down:
Jill Proctor, a spokeswoman for Little Caesars said in a statement that the company believes 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. While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we take this claim very seriously,” Proctor said.
So how did Bazzi tell the difference between pork and halal pepperoni? He says:
Bazzi knew it was pork because he used to work in a pizza place and knows the different types of pepperoni, Moughni said. He also said Bazzi’s wife could tell because she is a Catholic convert to Islam who grew up eating pork.
They “became sick to their stomach,” according to the lawsuit. Three days later, they filed a police report.
This isn’t the first lawsuit to claim halal meat was falsely labeled. It isn’t the first case the lawyer for Bazzi has represented a client over halal meat, either:
The issue of non-halal food labeled as such has landed in court before. In 2011, McDonald’s was sued over claims that the fast-food restaurant was selling non-halal chicken it claimed was halal.
In some cases, employees at the Ford Road location in Dearborn were mistakenly giving non-halal products to customers who asked for halal ones.
The case was settled for $700,000. However, some Muslims, including a group led by Moughni, said the settlement money should have gone to the Muslims affected, not to organizations that were based in Detroit or not affiliated with Islam.
Maybe the real question in all of this is, why is anyone eating at Little Caesars to begin with?