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Bacon Mishaps Bring Michigan’s Jews, Muslims Together

There’s no surer path to peace than suing a fast food franchise

Liel Leibovitz
September 08, 2017

Call it the Detroit Peace Plan: These days, nothing is bringing the Motor City’s Jews and Muslims closer than suing fast food franchises over the accidental inclusion of bacon in orders that ought to have been kosher or halal.

The trend—if two incidents in the span of a few days a trend makes—began last month when Angela Montgomery, a 30-year-old Jewish woman residing in Sterling Heights, walked into her neighborhood Denny’s and ordered the loaded veggie omelette. It arrived , but along side the three eggs, fresh spinach, mushrooms, sauted zucchini and squash, diced tomatoes, and melted Swiss cheese promised on the menu, Montgomery was in for a piggish surprise: bits of bacon.

Incensed, Montgomery summoned the waitress, who in turn summoned the manager, who apologized and said that the bacon container was right next to the vegetable container in the restaurant’s kitchen. He offered to take the omelette off the bill and deliver a free, fresh, pork-free one, but Montgomery’s appetite was ruined: As an observant Jew, eating the epitome of treyf was no way to start the day.

A pig, she told the Detroit Free Press, “is an abominable food. It’s like the most vile, disgusting creature on planet Earth that’s not supposed to go in your body, and I ate it. To me, that’s a poisoning. I was poisoned.”

Askar Abubaker and Hasinah Saeed agree. The couple, observant Muslims from Dearborn, were looking forward to some fried chicken at a KFC restaurant in Lincoln Park. Abubaker asked if he could have his sandwich with cheese; for an additional dollar, said the man behind the counter, he could add cheese and bacon. Abubaker asked for the cheese but was specific about rejecting the bacon. He received his sandwich, took a hearty bite, and found the crispy, delicious, utterly forbidden meat tucked between chicken, cheese, and bun.

“What is this?” he asked the restaurant’s employees, according to the Free Press. “Why did you guys put this in my food?” He was offered another sandwich, free of charge, but found the employees’ attitude disrespectful—they were all smiling, he said, not comprehending that they’d just made a pious man commit a grievous sin.

Both Montgomery and Abubaker have now filed lawsuits in Wayne County Circuit Court. God bless America.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.