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Monday, October 31, 2005

Muslim Woman Obtains Settlement in Employment Discrimination Suit

Shabana Ahmed, a former teacher, reached a settlement with School & Pre-School Supply Center Inc., the owner of Learning How. Ahmed argued that she was fired on Oct. 25, 2001, on the basis of her religion; she wore a traditional Muslim headscarf and prayed at work.

According to the charging documents, the owner of Learning How said, around the time of her firing, "Are you crazy? ... I can't have her working here." Ahmed became suspicious of this decision as it came on the heels of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and she was not given, in her estimation, a valid reason for her dismissal. She then contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which aided Ahmed in reaching a settlement.

The defendants dispute the discrimination charge, noting that "it was simply a matter of miscommunication.... Ms. Ahmed was let go for budgetary reasons."

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