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Friday, September 22, 2006

Appeals court upholds airline's firing of Muslim pilot after 9/11

A Muslim pilot fired a week after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was let go because he was seen in a bar in uniform, not because of religious bigotry, a three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday.

The panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court judge's ruling that Trans States Airlines did not violate discrimination laws in firing Mohammed Shanif Hussein of San Bruno, Calif., on Sept. 18, 2001.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in St. Louis filed the suit on behalf of Hussein. EEOC attorney Robert Johnson said the agency was still considering whether to seek a hearing before the full 8th Circuit.

"We're disappointed with the ruling," Johnson said. "We considered it a strong case of discrimination because of the reaction to what happened on 9-11." [Link]
The opinion is available here [.pdf].

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