McDonald’s to Pay $700,000 to Muslim Groups Over Islamic Dietary Law Dispute

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DEARBORN, Mich. (TheBlaze/AP) — McDonald’s and one of its franchise owners agreed to pay $700,000 to members of the Muslim community to settle allegations a Detroit-area restaurant falsely advertised its food as being prepared according to Islamic dietary law.

McDonald’s and Finley’s Management Co. agreed Friday to the tentative settlement, with that money to be shared by Dearborn Heights resident Ahmed Ahmed, a Detroit health clinic, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and lawyers.

Ahmed’s attorney, Kassem Dakhlallah, told The Associated Press on Monday that he’s “thrilled” with the preliminary deal that’s expected to be finalized March 1. McDonald’s and Finley’s Management deny any liability but say the settlement is in their best interests.

The lawsuit alleged that Ahmed bought a chicken sandwich in September 2011 at a Dearborn McDonald’s but found it wasn’t halal — meaning it didn’t meet Islamic requirements for preparing food. Islam forbids consumption of pork, and God’s name must be invoked before an animal providing meat for consumption is slaughtered.

Dakhlallah said there are only two McDonald’s in the United States that sell halal products and both are in Dearborn, which has one of the nation’s largest Arab and Muslim communities. Overall, the Detroit area is home to about 150,000 Muslims of many different ethnicities.

The locations advertise that they exclusively sell halal Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches and they have to get those products from an approved halal provider, Dakhlallah said. He said there was no evidence of problems on the production side, but he alleges that the Dearborn location on Ford Road sold non-halal products when it ran out of halal

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Dakhlallah said he was approached by Ahmed, and they conducted an investigation. A letter sent to McDonald’s Corp. and Finley’s Management by Dakhlallah’s firm said Ahmed had “confirmed from a source familiar with the inventory” that the restaurant had sold non-halal food “on many occasions.”

After they received no response to the letter, Dakhlallah said, they filed a lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court in November 2011 as part of a class action.

Photo Credit: AP

The AP left messages Monday afternoon for attorneys representing the corporation and the franchise.

In the settlement notice, Finley’s Management said it “has a carefully designed system for preparing and serving halal such that halal chicken products are labeled, stored, refrigerated, and cooked in halal-only areas.” The company added it trains its employees on preparing halal food and “requires strict adherence to the process.”

He said although Ahmed believes McDonald’s was negligent, there was no evidence that the chain set out to deceive customers.

“McDonald’s from the very beginning stepped up and took this case very seriously,” Dakhlallah said. “They made it clear they wanted to resolve this. They got ahead of the problem.”

The lawsuit covers anyone who bought the halal-advertised products from the Ford Road restaurant and another Dearborn McDonald’s with a different owner between September 2005 and last Friday. Since that would be impossible to determine, Dakhlallah said both sides agreed to provide money to community-based charities that benefit members of this group.

The other location on Michigan Avenue wasn’t a defendant or a focus of the investigation, Dakhlallah said.

He said the final hearing will ultimately determine who gets what and how much, but roughly $275,000 is expected to go to the Huda Clinic, about $150,000 to the museum, $230,000 to attorneys and $20,000 to Ahmed.

Dakhlallah said he believes it’s the first lawsuit of its kind related to McDonald’s and halal food — one that surely sparks both controversy and discussion.

In 2002, McDonald’s agreed to donate $10 million to Hindu and other groups in the U.S. to settle lawsuits that accused the chain of mislabeling french fries and hash browns as vegetarian. The vegetable oil used to prepare the items had contained traces of beef for flavoring purposes

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@ Mark Miller…. Shut your Stupid Ignorant uneducated Lying Mouth you Foolish Schmuck!……The Official Facts of Barack Obama's Historical Record with the Jewish State of Israel from the Jewish Authority: http://www.njdc.org/ObamaTopTen……

@ Mark Miller…. Shut your Stupid Ignorant uneducated Lying Mouth you Foolish Schmuck!…….Ehud Barak says "President Obama has been the Most Supportive U.S. President to Israel ever!!!! Especially within his tenure in the Israeli Government" (Watch the Video!) The Current Israeli Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Knows Best!!! The Israelis themselves and their Leaders are the Final Judge on this Matter Proving that any Descent is an Out Right Lie!….http://www.theblaze.com/stories/israeli-minister-of-defense-claims-obama-is-doing-more-for-israeli-security-than-any-other-u-s-president/

@ Mark Miller…. Shut your Stupid Ignorant uneducated Lying Mouth you Foolish Schmuck!…….Ehud Barak says "President Obama has been the Most Supportive U.S. President to Israel ever!!!! Especially within his tenure in the Israeli Government" (Watch the Video!) The Current Israeli Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Knows Best!!! The Israelis themselves and their Leaders are the Final Judge on this Matter Proving that any Descent is an Out Right Lie!….http://www.theblaze.com/stories/israeli-minister-of-defense-claims-obama-is-doing-more-for-israeli-security-than-any-other-u-s-president/

louie says:

Oh i nust remembered law suots is also the ametican way lol:(

louie says:

If they want hala open a hala resturant. That is the American way in AMERICA.

Ivan Price says:

Really, McDonalds? Let the muslims feed themselves. They must be stupid anyway to believe that food delivered to the resturaunt has been prepared in the manner that the Koran prescribes. America does not need more stupid people. We need people to support our constitution. People willing to defend it. Send the muslims back to the dark corner of the world frow which they came.

When you sleep with pigs you smell like them, I would have more respect for the franchisee if he moved out of Dearborn. Wake up America.

De Nfidel says:

Enough said with Muslim Groups who believe just by showing up they own the place and everyone must kiss there ass. Don't like it, take you jehad money and start your own food chain!

Doreen Ball says:

And yet, if someone tries to say grace before they eat their food at a McDonald's, the police are called.

WHY LET THEM GO ELACE WARE TO EAT IF THEY DO NOT LIKE THE FOOD, OR GO BACK TO THERE OWN COUNTRY

Carrie Gordon says:

Write McDonalds encouraging them to pull out of Dearborn. Let the city of dearborn know we will not be supporting thier muslim ways. http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/contact_us/social_responsibility/social_responsibility.html

Carrie Gordon says:

No, No, No…..this is BS! McDonalds can apologize and pull all their restaurants out of muslim world, Dearborn Mich.

De Nfidel says:

Apologize? BS, shut'em down!

Ed Blackburn says:

That's what you get for pandering to muslums in the first place.Do what you say your going to or pay the price.

Brandon Garretson says:

Nuke Dearborn.

De Nfidel says:

'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'. 'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society. Learn the language!'

'Most Americans believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,

'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'

'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

Kevin Dailey says:

offer them the McRib and nothing else…. oh With extra bacon.

De Nfidel says:

NOW YOU'RE TALKING KD AND I'LL TAKE A DOUBLE!

Sue McNare says:

When you don't purchase and prepare the food yourself, don't you give up the right to complain about whether it's halal or kosher or prepared according to any dietary laws? One resataurant can't cater to all these things.

Greg McDannold says:

Halal McDonald's food? What a f'n joke. Why would McDonald's serve that anyway? Do they really need the money that bad? Let the Muslims eat elsewhere if they don't like straight up fast food. Jeesh.

If anyone truly believes in God, they know just Praying over their food before eating should suffice. We won't be happy in this country until we let the Lawyers, run every business out of business.$$$$$$$$.

Ron Rugg says:

Pro Tip: If you're Muslim you probably shouldn't be eating this crap in the first place.

If Mikey D's is that desperate to make money in a market that panders to certain religons they deserve what they got.If I were managing the situation. I would close the restrants and tell the muslums to open thier own restrants to suite thier needs.

De Nfidel says:

Absolutely right RP! Enough said with Muslim Groups who believe just by showing up they own the place and everyone must kiss there ass. Don't like it, take your jehad money and start your own food chain!

If Mickey D's declined to sell the chicken knowing it was not halal, they would have been sued for discrimination. Is this a great country, or what??

1st and foremost I would ask where they came from originally and check how many branches are in their particular country that are not Halal.

Brenton Lett says:

and the winners are….the attorneys….$230,000.

Ron Rugg says:

CHA-CHING!!!!

These kind of settlement are a crime in themselves. If an award was given at all, why was it given to a heath clinic and a museum. the $20,000 to Ahmed was more than he should have gotten. another case of lawyers getting rich.

Horace Lim says:

Well insist that food you eat are killed in humanely, INSIST that they be NOT halal… We do not want Halal and they can learn to serve the 98% of the population who are not Muslims, if we vote with our feet then McDonalds will stop.

Mark Miller says:

This is America?

Ron Rugg says:

Yes, well what's left of it anyway.

Kristina Crawley says:

Well that's one way to make some money…

Marisa Garrett says:

*runs to mcdonalds*

Gary Fields says:

Usually it's runs from McDonalds……..

Marisa Garrett says:

lololololololol

Kristina Crawley says:

:/