Dunkin' Franchisee Loses Pork Battle

Muslim man refused to handle, sell pork breakfast sandwiches

Wednesday, Apr 1, 2009  |  Updated 2:45 PM CDT
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For nearly two decades, Dunkin' allowed Walid Elkhatib to not sell pork. But in 2002, the company said it wouldn't renew the franchise agreement unless he sold all products.

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WESTCHESTER, Ill. -- A Muslim franchisee of a suburban Chicago Dunkin' Donuts store must surrender ownership after losing a legal battle over his religious objections to selling pork.

Walid Elkhatib's attorney, Robert Habib, said the 59-year-old is removing Dunkin' signage from his Westchester store.

The chain sued Elkhatib last week to bar him from using the company's trademark. That lawsuit followed a jury's ruling that the chain didn't discriminate against Elkhatib for refusing to renew his franchise agreement because he wouldn't sell breakfast sandwiches containing pork.

Muslims are forbidden from eating pork and many also refuse handling it.

For nearly two decades, Dunkin' allowed Elkhatib to not sell pork. But in 2002, the company said it wouldn't renew the franchise agreement unless he sold all products.

"He plans to continue to operate a restaurant," Habib told the Chicago Tribune. "Walid will survive."

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