Little Caesars Pizza is being sued for $100 million for falsely advertising that their pepperoni is “halal” or approved for Muslims to eat, because it isn’t made with pork.
According to a class action lawsuit filed in Michigan’s Wayne County Circuit Court on Thursday, plaintiff Mohamad Bazzi, 32, claimed that he received pizzas with pork pepperoni when he had ordered halal pepperoni.
“They have no regard for people’s religious beliefs,” said attorney Majed Moughni. “This is a violation of the Muslim faith. You can’t be handing out pork, mislabeling it as halal and get away with it. This isn’t how America operates. A billion dollar corporation can’t get away with it.”
Little Caesars Pizza, Little Caesar Enterprises Inc., a manager named Denise and two unnamed employees are named in the suit.
Spokeswoman Jill Proctor stated, “Little Caesars cherishes our customers from all religions and cultures, and the communities we serve are very important to us. While we can’t comment on pending litigation, we take this claim very seriously.”
The Little Caesars at 7315 Schaefer has a sign in the window advertising that they offer halal pepperoni, so Bazzi and his wife ordered it, noting in the lawsuit that the box was labeled as containing “halal” pepperoni. Bazzi claimed that he and his wife felt sick when they realized that they were eating pork.
Moughni said, “His wife is a Catholic convert (to Islam) who had eaten pork all her life. She knows the taste of pork. He was very angry, upset.” Three days after eating the offensive pizza, Bazzi filed a complaint with the Dearborn Police Department.
Wondering how many others had unknowingly eaten pork pepperoni from the restaurant, Bazzi returned to the same Little Caesars on Wednesday to order another pizza and specifically ordered halal pepperoni. Again, he received pepperoni made from pork and was advised by his attorney to question restaurant staff while recording their answers.
Moughni filed Bazzi’s lawsuit on the eve of Ramadan, stating that his client was worried that other Muslims may order pizza from the restaurant to break their daily fasts during the month-long holiday. He noted that since filing the lawsuit, another Muslim customer has come forward with a similar complaint.
“These people were unknowingly assaulted,” said Moughni. “None of these employees seem to care.”
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