(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/18/10) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today voiced concern over a recent incident at a southern New Jersey Wal-Mart in which an unknown person made a racist announcement over the store’s public-address system.
Wal-Mart officials are reviewing security tapes to determine who used the store’s public-address system on Sunday to say: “Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now.”
SEE: Wal-Mart Probing Racist Store Announcement (AP)
“We are deeply troubled by this example of the intolerance and overt racism that unfortunately still exists in our society,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We understand Wal-Mart is conducting a full investigation of the incident. If it was an employee who made the announcement, we expect that person will be fired to make it clear that such bigotry is unacceptable in America.”
Awad noted that CAIR has worked successfully with Wal-Mart in the past to resolve incidents of bias at some of its stores. In July 2009, after CAIR’s mediation, a Wal-Mart store in Minnesota agreed to accommodate an employee’s right to pray in the workplace on scheduled breaks.
In February 2008, a Wal-Mart regional manager apologized to a Muslim customer who had been mocked by a cashier because of her face veil.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com