Ex-Heathrow Worker Claims Muslims Harassed Her

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LONDON -- Nohad Halawi worked at terminal three of London's Heathrow Airport for 13 years selling perfumes and other goods.

Now, she's suing her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming she and other Christian staff at the airport were victims of systematic harassment because of their religion.

"The colleagues were extremists because in the past two years ... especially from one of the colleagues coming up to me on a almost daily basis and preaching to me that Islam is going to take over the world," Halawi recalled.

She said a friend who also worked at the airport was reduced to tears after being bullied for wearing a cross.

"One of the guys started bad mouthing me to his colleagues after I supported my friend and told them enough is enough," Halawi said. "Especially the last time she was wearing three crosses. And they were making fun of her saying, 'What's the point, look at her wearing three crosses.'"

Five Muslim workers then complained, accusing Halawi of being anti-Islamic during a heated conversation she had in the store.

Following the complaints, Halawi was suspended. She said she was told that as a part-time, commission-based worker she had no legal employment rights.

"I was horrified. I was so shocked. I was so upset. I could not believe after 13 years of loyal service for World Duty Free and they knew these people are fundamentalists," Halawi said. "Yet, they took their side."

The Christian Legal Center is helping Halawi in her fight.

Director Andrea Williams said the case raises serious concerns about the influence of Islamic fundamentalism at Heathrow airport.

"One only has to go to terminal three to see how clearly Islam is manifested both through the security points, passport control, and in the shops and retail outlets. This is something that's clearly there," Williams explained.

Williams said this is one of the most serious cases the CLC has handled due to the potentially high level of Islamic fundamentalism prevalent at Britain's main point of entry to the United Kingdom.

There's also the issue of religious discrimination:

"It begins to highlight the extent and influence of radical Islam in our country," Williams said.

Halawi hopes her stance will help reverse the increasing tide of Islamic fundamentalist influence currently sweeping the U.K.

"We want to stop this extremism not just at Heathrow, but in the U.K. as well," she said. "And let's all just be happy, peace loving people in joy."

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Peter Wooding

Peter Wooding

CBN News United Kingdom Correspondent

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