The Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling for an investigation into a McDonald's restaurant in Decatur, Alabama where a Muslim family recently ordered 14 McChicken sandwiches and claim that each one contained small pieces of bacon.
Under Islamic dietary laws, of course, pork products like bacon are prohibited. What's more, under McDonald's guidelines, a McChicken sandwich is made up of "deliciously crispy chicken topped with mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and served on a perfectly toasty bun." No bacon whatsoever.
Needless to say, the family was perplexed—and they notified CAIR. Khaula Hadeed, the head of the Alabama chapter of CAIR, is calling the incident "an intentional act of religious and ethnic bigotry."
The family was visiting Alabama from New York and spent the day at the Point Mallard Water Park. They stopped at a local McDonald's and ordered the 14 sandwiches, but soon noticed that their food had a smoky flavor. That's when they allegedly found the small pieces of bacon—in each and every sandwich.
"It doesn't sound like a mistake, especially on 14 sandwiches," Hadeed said."The bacon was either on top of the chicken or hidden underneath within the sandwich so [the family members] couldn't tell if it was there or not. That's why we think this was intentional," she added.
The owner of the McDonald's denied the claim, and a spokesperson for McDonald's provided MUNCHIES with the following statement: "We want to assure our customers that this was not an intentional act by our employees. We value every customer and strive to ensure all orders are accurately prepared and served. We are looking into the matter to understand what happened."
CAIR said they will be pressing an in-depth investigation: "McDonald's should investigate this incident, identify and terminate the employees responsible, and take proactive steps to satisfy this American family's concerns, starting with an apology." Hadeed added: "Based on the evidence in this incident, as well as the unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim bigotry nationwide, we believe this was an intentional act of religious and ethnic bigotry."
According to a report issued by CAIR between April and June of this year, there were over 940 reports of possible bias targeting Muslims in the US. Of those, the organization found that 451 did indeed stem from anti-Muslim bias—a 91 percent increase in hate crimes over the same time period in 2016.