Muslim Airhostess Suspended by Airline for Refusing to Serve Alcohol

Muslim Hostess Refuses to Serve Alcohol

A Muslim flight attendant recently alleged that she was suspended by her airline for refusing to serve alcohol to passengers. Charee Stanley, who has been employed with ExpressJet for over three years, decided to convert to Islam only a year ago. She said that she was suspended from her job in August after a colleague complained about her to the concerned authorities. Stanley has now filed a discrimination suit against her employer, saying they should allow reasonable accommodations for her religious beliefs, which prohibit her from drinking or serving alcohol.

Despite having converted to Islam sometime ago, Stanley found out only recently that Sharia Law disallows her from consuming or helping others consume alcohol. Reportedly, Stanley went on to inform her supervisors of the situation in June this year, after which they advised her to work out an arrangement with a fellow colleague, who would serve alcohol on her behalf so passengers could still avail themselves of their desired beverage onboard.


Lena Masri, attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Michigan, said, “She began coordinating with the other flight attendant on duty so that when a passenger requested alcohol, the other flight attendant would accommodate that request. … We know that this arrangement has worked beautifully and without incident and that it hasn't caused any undue burden on the airline. After all, it was the suggestion of the airline.”

However, problems cropped up last month after another flight attendant with the same airline filed a complaint against Stanley, accusing her of not carrying out her duties efficiently, wearing a headscarf and carrying a book with foreign writings.

Ms StanleyStanley

Apparently, Stanley received a letter from her employer on August 25, stating that they were retracting their religious accommodation clauses to exclude her from serving alcohol and she would be put on administrative leave immediately.

“We notified ExpressJet Airlines of its obligation under the law to reasonably accommodate Ms. Stanley's religious beliefs,” Masri said at a news conference. “Instead, ExpressJet close to violate Ms. Stanley’s constitutional rights, placed her on administrative leave for 12 months, after which her employment may be administratively terminated.”

Masri said that CAIR has requested the airline to reinstate Stanley at the earliest time possible and also accommodate her religious beliefs.

“I don't think that I should have to choose between practicing my religion properly or earning a living,” Stanley said at the news conference. “I shouldn't have to choose between one or the other because they're both important.”

Express Jet

A spokesperson for ExpressJet refused to comment on Stanley’s situation but sent out a mail regarding the issue.

“At ExpressJet, we embrace and respect the values of all of our team members,” wrote Jarek Beem wrote in his email. We are an equal opportunity employer with a long history of diversity in our workforce. As Ms. Stanley is an employee, we are not able to comment on her personal matters.”

Photo Credits: The Examiner

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