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Jewish Journal

Muslim meatpackers fired for praying

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 24, 2007 | 11:20 am

Somali Muslims in Omaha claim they were harassed and fired for taking a 5- to 10-minute break each evening to say the maghrib. Jama Mohamed, 28, is among the workers who say they were fired or forced to quit.

‘‘Some of them took the [prayer] mat from me; they started shouting, they started telling me to stop it, and one of them grabbed me by the collar of my shirt,’’ Mohamed said.

A lawsuit has not been filed. Civil-rights laws protect the religious observance of employees, so long as it is not burdensome to the company. The meatpacking company says the employees stopped working without permission.

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