A Muslim man has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Little Caesars because of pizza that allegedly came with pepperoni made from pork.
Mohamad Bazzi alleges that he ordered halal pizza twice from a Little Caesars store in Dearborn, Michigan. Although the pizza boxes had a "halal" sticker on them, the pizzas had pork-based pepperoni, notes the Detroit Free Press.
Muslims are forbidden from eating pork per Islamic law. Halal requires meat be prepared in accordance with Islamic guidelines, and under those guidelines pepperoni is made with beef instead of pork.
Majed Moughni, Bazzi's lawyer, filed the lawsuit on May 25, the eve of Ramadan, in hopes that other Muslims would not accidentally eat pork pepperoni from the Little Caesars during the Islamic holiday.
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"It's really upsetting," Moughni told the Detroit Free Press. "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."
Moughni said eating pork is "one of the worst sins you can do" as a Muslim.
Jill Proctor, a spokeswoman for Little Caesars, said the legal claim "is without merit," adding: "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."
According to the lawsuit, the first pork pepperoni incident happened on March 20 when Bazzi and his wife had eaten half the pizza.
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Moughni said Bazzi detected the pork because of his former employment at a pizza place, while Bazzi's wife recognized it because she grew up eating pork as a former Catholic.
The lawsuit said the couple "became sick to their stomach," and filed a police report three days later.
The second pork pepperoni pizza incident occurred on May 24.
Moughni explained the Muslim perspective on pork: "There's different schools of Islamic law that allows for the eating of chicken and beef, but there is no such thing as halal pork. The pork itself is forbidden."
According to WWJ, the lawsuit accuses Little Caesars Pizza of fraud:
Plaintiff, a devote Muslim, brings this class action lawsuit after Defendants LITTLE CAESAR PIZZA, LITTLE CAESAR ENTERPIRESES, INC, DENISE, manager, and other JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, employees sold Pork pepperoni when Plaintiff ordered Halal Pepperoni, a strict violation of Michigan state Law (MCL 750.297f), Wayne County Ordinance, the Wayne County Halal and Kosher Anti-Fraud and Truth-In-Labeling Ordinance (Chapter 159-1), but, most importantly, the Islamic Law that prohibits Muslims from eating Pork! Plaintiff bring this action as the public has a right to know about this fraud that is being perpetrated in the Dearborn, Michigan, the community with the highest concentrations of Muslims in North America.