Skip to comments.Couple buys Churches Chicken and finds out it is a Shariah company, they can't sell pork
Posted on 04/21/2008 12:14:51 PM PDT by LSUfan
A Baltimore couple has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Islamic investment bank that owns the Church's Chicken fast-food chain, alleging their franchise failed because the bank's strict adherence to the religious code of Shari'ah prohibited the couple from selling pork.
Marcus and Denise Beasley, who are black, claimed they were treated differently by the bank, now known as Atlanta-based Arcapita Inc., than non-black franchisees who were allowed to continue serving breakfast dishes containing pork after the chain was acquired by the bank in December 2004.
The couple did not benefit from the grandfather policy allowing the sale of pork even though their contract with the chain's former owners, AFC Enterprises Inc., to open a location in Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport's new terminal predated the takeover and policy change, according to the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
In the lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in actual damages, $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, the Beasleys contend the bank's "stated reason" for disallowing the sale of pork in their case -- they had not yet opened for business - - was "pretextual."
"Arcapita permitted all of the other breakfast franchisees, which were approximately 30 Church's Chicken restaurants, to do so, all of which were owned by persons who are non-African American or Caucasian," the complaint states. "Of the Church's Chicken breakfast franchises that existed when Arcapita acquired the chain, plaintiffs are the only ones who are African American."
Calls to Arcapita were not returned Wednesday.
The Beasleys began negotiations with Atlanta-based AFC in May 2004 and inked a franchise agreement Dec. 17, 2004.
Church's Chicken, which serves American Southern comfort food, was founded in San Antonio in 1952 and has approximately 1,500 franchises worldwide, some of which trade as Texas Chicken, according to the company's Web site.
On Dec. 26, Crescent Capital Investments Inc., the U.S. affiliate of Bahrain-based First Islamic Investment Bank BSC, bought Church's, according to the suit. First Islamic changed its name to Arcapita in March 2005, the compliant states.
In April 2005, the Beasleys entered into a sublease with BAA Maryland Inc., the developer of retail and concession space in the airport, to operate their restaurant in the Pier A/B Core Food Court, according to the suit. The franchise's menu, which included pork items, had to be submitted for approval and became part of the sublease, the suit states.
According to the complaint, the Beasleys had been assured they would be receiving the same letter Arcapita had sent to other existing franchisees, which said the parent company would not be collecting royalties on pork products.
But "approximately one week before" the Beasleys' May 18 opening, the suit states, Arcapita informed them that, as new franchisees who had not yet opened, they may not serve pork, which Islam considers unclean.
The restaurant opened on schedule -- but never served pork -- and closed in late July 2006.
Part of the "substantial economic losses" the Beasleys suffered was the loss of their house, according to their attorney, Paul M. Vettori of Kenny & Vettori LLP in Towson.
"As the result of the failure of their business at the BWI airport, they were unable to repay the bank for the loan they took out and the [home] was sold at foreclosure," Vettori said.
Vettori declined to comment on other aspects of the suit, including other potential reasons for the short tenure of the restaurant.
Vettori is also the latest attorney to represent the Beasleys in a separate breach of contract suit against AFC, Arcapita, BAA Maryland and the Maryland Aviation Administration. That suit, filed in February 2007, is working its way through the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
James C. Rubinger of Plave Koch PLC in Reston, Va., who represents Arcapita in the state case, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
I did not know that.
No Church’s chicken for me and my family.
Our Church’s Fired Chicken closed about a year ago......Did they go bankrupt?..............
If I boycotted Churches it wouldn’t cost them a dime, cause I won’t eat their stuff anyway.
Shouldn’t we force them to change the name to “mosque’s chicken”?
I’d tell them to shove it.
If they want to perform a take over, prepare for war.
Shouldn’t they call it “Mosques Chicken” instead?
I don’t go to Church’s. I go to Popeye’s, but I thought Popeye’s had bought out Church’s!!?!?!?!?
Under western law they have a case because of their contract, but under Islamic law they’re screwed because the Koran states that Muslims are not obligated to honour contracts made with infidels. Given they way courts in most western countries have been ruling lately they could well lose.
I think this is happening a lot. Silently. Needs to stop.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
“First Islamic changed its name to Arcapita in March 2005”
...because Chick-fil-A and other Christian businesses won’t cut your head off?
If America is not a Christian nation, it will be part of the Islamic nation. Take your pick.
Churches definitely serves the largest, juiciest pieces of chicken in the fast food business.
Too bad about this sharia nonsense. Looks like they loose my business.
I need to open up a Cuban restaurant around these parts. I miss getting a Cuban sandwich back in SoFla.
because Chick Fil A is a CHRISTIAN business and Church’s is MUSLIM.
And yes, I’m an intolerant bigot.
With chick-fil-a it’s a company policy, and always has been. This bank bought out church’s and changed the policy.
I actually worked at a Church’s Fried Chicken in my neighborhood (N. VA) when I was a teenager in the early eighties. That location went out of business long ago, but I suspect it was because of supply-chain difficulties (everything had to come from far-of San Antonio) which were the bane of its existence back in the day.
Pork products were not big on the menu in my day, but who knows how the menu may have expanded. It is quite possible that this “halal” problem had little to do with this particular franchisee’s failure.
However, you can bet your booty that one only has to scream “shariah-run!” and business will flee.
I rather doubt there are enough immigrant muslims and black muslims to keep a fast-food chain going.
The complaint here is that other Churches outlets WERE being allowed to serve pork and that the bank changed the conditions of the contract after the couple had made a significant investment.
If Chick-Fil-A committed to a potential franchisee that they could open on Sundays, then refused to allow them to open, OR if they allowed other franchisees to open on Sunday without allowing one specific franchisee to open, we would be talking about the same situation.
You can buy them in Key West and in Sarasota. Yummy.
Seriously, since when do banks dictate religious rules to the businesses they loan to? Sorry Mr Anderson, can’t give you this loan, you eat pork...
If we have to explain it to you, well . . .
They were told they couldn’t sell pork AFTER they bought it, not before.
I think what you are getting at, however, is that not being open on Sunday is some sort of a arbitrary religious stricture impeding business.
I’ll bet you there’s nothing in Chik-fil-a’s franchise agreement that prohibits being open on Sunday because of the Sabbath. This is indeed the case, that Church’s won’t sell pork because it does not comport with Sharia law.
I take option C) None of the above. Ever hear of separation of church and state?
Just shine the sunlight of publicity on these shariah-run businesses and watch the roaches scurry.
There is one financial institution I won't be using...
I love Church’s Chicken. But not anymore. I’ll take Popeyes now.
Bingo, I think you hit the nail on the head. Well said.
All "Chick-fil-a"s are closed on Sunday.
They didn't sell the franchise to the franchisee with the promise they could be open on Sundays, then renege once they had their name on the dotted line.
This is a recent legal article which duicusses the potential legal liabilities of sharia-based finance and business practices:
“Shari’Ah’s Black Box: Civil Liability and Criminal Exposure Surrounding Shari’Ah-Compliant Finance”
How’d that work out for the Soviet Union?
It’s a franchise wide policy. Closed on Sunday.
Heh...you’re really wrapping everything up into a neat little bow here. Too bad for you that freedom of religion also allows those of us that don’t WANT to practice religion the right to freedom FROM religion.
The Soviet Union was a COMMUNIST state. Now although your country is headed in that direction, you’re not there yet. But this coming election won’t make things any better.
State-sponsored and imposed religion is worse than secularism, and the founding fathers knew that. That’s why separation of church and state exists in the first place.
How many American restaurant chains will silently be bought by innocent-sounding names like "Arcapita" and be forces to serve halal food?
For that matter, how many American banks have been compromised by the massive "cash infusions" from Arab investors lately?
The jihadis are buying their way into America. No pork, no alcohol for you. Might as well call the franchises "Mosque's Chicken".
Haven't had time to investigate further
Fast food breakfast restaurants located in airports do a tone of business during brakfast hours and has the highest profit margins. Can you imagine breakfast without any pork products? No one would eat there.
So, you know before you sign the dotted line on buying a franchise.
Great concept. Doesn’t work so well when Islam is part of the mix, demanding no separation. At the point of a sword/gun.
The Constitution doesn’t provide freedom FROM religion.
The state has already established a religion - psychiatry. The state uses it in court houses everyday.
Church's and Popeye's used to both be owned by the same parent company, but Church's was sold to a new owner almost five years ago. AFAIK, Popeye's is not involved with the same investment bank.
Makes me wonder who else *is*, though.
KFC is being courted to offer halal meals (which includes segregated oils from non-halal products and meat sourced from Islamist butchers per Islamic law).
It’d be easier to make the whole menu halal than to segregate the kitchen equipment. And when facing a muslim run competitor, they don’t want to lose market share over something like that.
Who knows what Pepsico will do. Corporate America already surrendered to liberal special interest groups. Will they surrender to Islamic special interest groups too?
If it was a Jewish company, at least they could sell any Kosher pork they could get their hands on.
On a side note, remind me not to buy any Church’s chicken - for obvious reasons.
I am not sure if the contract says "because of the Sabbath", but I would venture a wild guess that the franchise agreement does prohibit being open on Sunday.