Civil Right Director Settles Case, Arab-American Business Stays Open
September 2, 2009
A hookah lounge in Worth, Illinois, is still in business after unsubstantiated complaints against it were resolved by CAIR-Chicago. Civil Rights Director, Christina Abraham, reached a settlement last week allowing the Arab American owned lounge to remain open. The incident occurred amidst concerns that Arab American business owners in Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs are being increasingly targeted because of their national origin.
At an administrative hearing in August, the Village of Worth threatened to revoke the man’s business license after receiving excessive complaints from neighbors. The complaints alleged that the hookah lounge blared music and hosted drunken customers. The owner denied the claims, explaining that his establishment does not serve alcohol, and never turns up music. He expressed his concern that the liquor store next door was contributing to the problem, as minors often loiter in the nearby parking lot and create a nuisance. The liquor store has been ticketed in the past for allowing minors to buy alcohol.
“We feel that he is being targeted because of his national origin,” says CAIR-Chicago Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham. “The village should be aware that the community will stand up for those who are not violating any policies.”
CAIR-Chicago represented the owner, and on Thursday August 27, reached an agreement with the village of Worth, allowing the lounge to remain open.