London, England — A Christian woman who lost her job in sales at Heathrow Airport in London after her co-workers complained that she was “anti-Islamic” has been granted the right to appeal her case before an employment tribunal.
Nohad Halawi was fired in July 2011 from World Duty Free after an ongoing ordeal with her co-workers surrounding her Christian faith. She states that she and another woman at the airport were harassed by Muslims who told her that she would go to Hell if she did not convert to Islam.
“One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it, and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees,” Halawi told reporters.”They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they want to convert people to Islam.”
“They say that Jesus is (expletive) and bullied a Christian friend of mine so much for wearing her crosses that she came to me crying,” she continued.
After she stuck up for her friend, Halawi says her Muslims co-workers, with whom she had a good rapport until this point, turned on her.
“At first, because I am from Lebanon, they assumed I was Muslim but when they found out I wasn’t they started bullying me,” Halawi stated.
However, her Muslim co-workers soon turned her to management for being “anti-Islamic.” Halawi’s pass to Heathrow Airport was immediately revoked, prohibiting her from returning to work. Later, she received a letter explaining the reason for her termination.
“I believe that the breakdown in relationship between yourself and some of your colleagues has contributed to this situation and has led to a number of inappropriate conversations taking place,” it stated. “Whilst I do not believe that you may have meant to be offensive, I believe that it was not unreasonable for the individuals who either heard these comments, or who they were directed at to find them offensive, and they are extremely inappropriate.”
She claims that the only comments management said were concerning were regarding her belief that the some of the material being distributed was extremist, and her inquiry to a co-working as to why he used profanity to describe Jesus.
Following Halawi’s dismissal, 28 colleagues, including Muslims, signed a petition calling for her to be reinstated.
“We are shocked and saddened by the recent dismissal of our colleague and friend, Nohad, as a result of malicious and unfounded allegations made against her,” the petition said.
Nonetheless, Halawi was not allowed to return. She filed a lawsuit with the assistance of the Christian Legal Centre, but the Employment Tribunal said that she had no standing as she was an independent contractor and not an official employee.
This week, she was granted the right to appeal her case, which she vows to fight all the way to the European Court of Justice if necessary.
‘I am not and have never been racist or anti religion. I have many Muslim friends. I am doing this because I want to show that people It’s not fair to use the religion card,” Halawi told The Daily Mail. “They’ve ruined my life. They’ve ruined my family’s lives. I can’t get work and am relying on friends and family to get by.”