Hate Crime or Shakedown for Money?

McDonald's is accused of serving bacon to a Muslim family.

It’s hard to imagine sometimes that these people even believe the line they’re pushing on us. If you are willing to believe the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), “Islamophobia” is so rampant, so out of control in our once-green and pleasant land that Muslim children can’t even stop by their local McDonald’s for a sandwich without falling victim to the dastardly pranks of Muslim-haters who were just waiting, and watching, and biding their time for their chance to humiliate an unsuspecting Mohammedan lad. Or maybe CAIR is just looking to shake down a massive corporation that doesn’t want any bad publicity. You be the judge.

It all started, according to a Wednesday Associated Press story, when a hijab-wearing Muslim woman, Ghadir Alahmar, walked into a McDonald’s with her twin seven-year-old sons. Alahmar “ordered a plain fish sandwich,” and thoughtfully “had one of her children repeat the order to a worker in case they did not understand her accent.”

Instead of cooing over the cute twins and filling their order cheerfully and promptly, however, McDonald’s employees, according to Alahmar, in their hate and “Islamophobia,” decided to load up the fish sandwich with bacon. Unsuspectingly, the trio “received their order, which included fries and cookies, and left the restaurant to walk to a nearby school playground where they planned to eat. One of her sons noticed the bacon. The sandwich not only had bacon on it, but appeared to have extra bacon, the complaint says. They did not eat the bacon, but one son ate the lower half of the bun and part of the fish filet, according to the complaint.”

The family was, by their own account, thoroughly traumatized. Alahmar accused the fast-food giant of doing it on purpose: “McDonald’s made my children and me feel unwanted and worthless by intentionally stuffing a fish sandwich full of bacon for no other reason than to punish us for our faith and religious convictions. This really hurt us. My children now wonder if they are welcome in their own country. They ask me, ‘Do they hate us?’ How is a mother supposed to answer that question?”

Why would the children ask Alahmar that? Why don’t they ask her, “Did they get our order wrong?” Why is it default mode that they must be victims of a hate crime? Possibly because CAIR is involved, and CAIR would have you believe that the McDonald’s employees involved knew perfectly well what they were doing, and did it out of plain malice. CAIR has accordingly “filed a discrimination complaint on the woman’s behalf with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.”

The complaint declares: “It is commonly known that Islam forbids Muslims from eating pork. McDonald’s employees willfully added bacon to the complainant’s food in an effort to offend, humiliate, and cause distress to complainant and her young children.”

Oh, for Pete’s sake. This is about as ridiculous as it gets, but then it all becomes clear. CAIR lawyer Barbara Dougin huffed that “religious discrimination at a place of public accommodation is not only illegal, but also morally reprehensible,” and added that “the complaint is the first step in the process for seeking monetary damages.” According to AP, “she also hopes it prompts McDonald’s to better train its workers to prevent a similar incident in the future.” Who will carry out that sensitivity training? Why, CAIR, of course. And they don’t work for free.

The chances that this was done out of malice are extremely small. The person making the sandwich would have to know that Islam forbids pork. The people who work at McDonald’s are generally high school kids who may have no idea of that. Then the person making the sandwich would have to hate Muslims, when this kid has likely been told all of his or her life that Muslims suffer from “racism” and “Islamophobia” and warrant special consideration. Again, unlikely.

What this almost certainly is: another shakedown attempt. McDonald’s is a big corporation with lots of money. It doesn’t want a lot of negative publicity from CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper and his sinister crew calling it “Islamophobic.” So it will likely hand some cash over to CAIR and Ghadir Alahmar to make this go away. Works like a charm.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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