An organization that the U.S. government has linked to terror funding has begun negotiating with a commercial meat-processing company in Colorado over the jobs for hundreds of Muslims who walked off the processing line together, demanding they be given a joint prayer time.
The dispute erupted over the last week when several hundred Muslims working at the Cargill meat processing plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado, which processes several million pounds of meat daily, demanded to leave the work line together for a prayer time.
The company previously had established rules that allowed a few workers to leave together, but said a mass loss of workers would require that the plant be shut down for that period of time, and that accommodation to the workers’ religion was not reasonable. It even had accommodated the workers with a special prayer room that was available for their use.
Some of the workers had returned to the line after being warned their jobs were hanging in the balance, but many did not.
So the company said their jobs were being forfeited.
Now, officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations have confirmed they are representing the workers in talks with the company.
In a statement CAIR released, officials said that the Muslim workers’ demands were being “handled in a discriminatory manner.”
The workers, CAIR said, “Have retained CAIR to represent them regarding their religious accommodation request and to work with Cargill to implement a workable policy that meets the needs of all parties.”
The Denver Post reported that about 150 workers, mostly Muslims from Somalia, were fired for walking off the job.
CAIR officials told the Post that they will continue to meet with Cargill, but the workers continue to require their prayer break.
The company has stated that workers of all faiths are allowed to use a reflection area, but the company cannot accommodate the workers by shutting down operations. The company said because workers are on an assembly line, only a few can leave at a time.
That rule, the company told the Greeley Tribune, has not changed.
A related issue arose at the plant several years ago, and a company spokesman noted that federal law requires employers to accommodate a reasonable religious accommodation “as long as it does not pose an undue hardship.”
The company interprets shutting down operations as an undue hardship.
CAIR, as WND has reported, was part of a controversy earlier this week because of a Broward County, Florida, deputy sheriff who is an executive for the Florida branch of the organization.
It was when a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that CAIR has no legal basis to claim its reputation was damaged by an undercover investigation documenting its ties to global jihad.
As WND reported, CAIR filed suit in 2009 against former federal investigator Dave Gaubatz and his son, Chris Gaubatz, after their findings were published in the WND Books expose, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.”
In its lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial, CAIR originally alleged it suffered damages after the younger Gaubatz, posing as an intern, obtained access to some 12,000 pages of CAIR internal documents under false pretenses and made recordings of officials and employees without consent.
CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the nation’s largest terror-funding case, complained of the loss of donor revenue and the loss of contact with legislators and policymakers.
But when asked by defendants in the discovery process to identify its donors and name the lawmakers it has contacted, CAIR replied by stating it was no longer claiming damage to its reputation.
U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said CAIR’s filing of a motion to reopen discovery so it can depose an expert witness on the economic impact of damages to CAIR’s reputation is “too late in the game.”
Furthermore, she said, CAIR itself has chosen three times not to claim damage to its reputation.
The judge has dismissed most of the case, leaving standing an allegation that Chris Gaubatz violated the federal and D.C. wiretap acts when he recorded video and audio of his conversations while serving as a CAIR intern.
If you support WND’s fight to expose CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood, please consider a donation to the WND Legal Defense Fund for court fights like this one – which must be one if America is to remain free – and safe.
While WND is not a target of the lawsuit, the news organization has provided the attorneys for Chris and Dave Gaubatz, a co-author of “Muslim Mafia.”
“This legal fight has been dragging on for years,” said Joseph Farah, founder and chief executive officer of WND. “We are only involved in this case to defend the First Amendment, the intrepid and courageous work of one of our authors and to expose CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood tentacles operating with impunity inside the U.S.”
Farah said the “tragic story of this case is that no one else was willing to step forward and pay for the world-class defense team we assembled, including famed First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus of the Pentagon Papers case and Dan Horowitz, one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in the country when it comes to CAIR.”
“Muslim Mafia” documents CAIR’s support of jihad, recounting its origin as a front group for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the worldwide movement that has stated its intent to transform the U.S. into a Saudi-style Islamic state.
WND recently reported that Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson has called for an investigation of CAIR, and the White House invited a CAIR executive to a meeting on battling religious discrimination. WND reported in October that CAIR’s problems with the IRS, exposed in “Muslim Mafia,” were noted by Carson.
More than a dozen CAIR leaders have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.
FBI wiretap evidence from the Holy Land terror funding case showed CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad was at an October 1993 meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in Philadelphia. CAIR, according to the evidence, was born out of a need to give a “media twinkle” to the Muslim leaders’ agenda of supporting violent jihad abroad while slowly institutionalizing Islamic law in the U.S.
As WND reported in 2010, a federal judge later determined that the Justice Department provided “ample evidence” to designate CAIR as an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator, affirming the Muslim group has been involved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.”