A Muslim-American group has filed a discrimination complaint against a US regional airline for suspending from work a Muslim flight attendant who objects to serving alcohol.
The flight attendant, Charee Stanley, reportedly converted to Islam two years ago and was serving alcohol until someone pointed out that her religion forbade it. She then refused to serve it, citing her religious beliefs.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the airline, Georgia-based ExpressJet, had earlier directed Stanley to make arrangements with the other flight attendants to deal with the issue. The carrier is not a large airline and working out how to meet passengers’ requests for alcohol was not easy.
Arrangements apparently worked without incident until 25 August 2015, when ExpressJet placed Stanley on administrative leave for 12 months, after which her position may be terminated, CAIR said.
“We have informed ExpressJet of its obligation under the law to reasonably accommodate Ms. Stanley’s religious accommodation request regarding service of alcohol,” Lena Masri, staff attorney for CAIR-Michigan said in a statement.
“Instead, ExpressJet has deliberately chosen to violate Ms. Stanley’s constitutional rights.”
CAIR believes that ExpressJet acted after a complaint by a fellow employee about the Islamic headscarf Stanley wears.
Some in America are asking what will happen when a barman converts to Islam and insists on keeping his job.
Written by Peter Needham