An advocacy group filed a civil rights complaint Thursday against Tim Hortons after a worker at the chain’s Ypsilanti Township restaurant allegedly refused to serve a Muslim American couple and demanded they “go back to your own country.”
The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) filed the complaint on behalf of Alaa Kouider and Ameur Dhaimini, who are U.S. citizens living in Ann Arbor.
According to the couple, the clerk appeared to be upset by Dhaimini’s accent and Kouider’s head covering and said, “You don’t belong here.”
The Tim Hortons employee can be seen yelling at the couple in a video taken by Dhaimini.
The couple said they registered a complaint with Tim Hortons but never heard back. Tim Hortons released a statement to Metro Times regarding the matter: "The team member involved in this incident has been terminated by the franchise as Tim Hortons does not tolerate any type of harassment in the workplace."
CAIR's complaint was filed shortly after President Donald Trump’s racist Twitter tirade in which he said four congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries, even though three of them were born in America. During a Trump rally Wednesday, the crowd chanted, “Send her home,” referring to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a U.S. citizen who fled violence in Somalia.
In December, three Black employees of Tim Hortons filed a federal complaint against the restaurant franchise, alleging the management used racial slurs and paid them less than minimum wage. Editors note: This story has been updated to include Tim Horton's statement.
Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.