Two Middle Eastern Men Who Protested Biased Treatment at Michigan Store Have a Right to Speak Out, ACLU Tells Court

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
June 4, 2003 12:00 am

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DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of two Middle Eastern men who are fighting an attempt to block their distribution of fliers expressing concern about biased treatment they received at a Meijer’s gas station in the city of Fraser.

Mohammad and Bilal Karhani of Macomb County were at the Meijer’s gas station in Fraser – a small city of 15,000 located 15 miles north of Detroit — when a clerk refused to accept their credit card. According to the Karhanis, the clerk said, “You Arabs get out of here, we don’t want to serve you guys.” A conflict ensued, and later the Karhanis began distributing fliers asking people to call Meijer’s to voice their outrage. Attorneys for Meijer’s are alleging that the fliers are an attempt to prejudice a civil lawsuit that resulted from the encounter.

“People have a right to express their opinion and the Karhanis are within their rights to distribute these fliers whether Meijer’s likes it or not” said Kary Moss, Executive Director of the Michigan ACLU.

An argument on the company’s motion to prohibit distribution of the fliers will be heard today Judge Paul Borman’s courtroom in the U.S. District Court.

The ACLU Brief is on line at /node/34978

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