Fired After Pilgrimage to Mecca, Cop Claims | Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Fired After Pilgrimage to Mecca, Cop Claims

DETROIT, Mich. (CN) - A cop who graduated at the top of its class and went on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca filed a lawsuit that blames discrimination for his firing.

Ali Mazloum says his history with the Wayne County Sheriff's Department was unblemished until it got a hold of the results of his application to the U.S. government for a position in Customs and Border Patrol.

During the eight-hour polygraph for that application, the examiner questioned Mazloum about his "ties to the Muslim community, his travels to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as part of his religious pilgrimage, and his ties with the Arab American Community in the City of Dearborn," the Feb. 6 complaint filed in Wayne County Circuit Court states.

Mazloum says his examiner reported that he failed the polygraph and "could not be trusted to protect our nations borders due to his travels to the middle east for a religious pilgrimage." (Punctuation errors in original.)

Wayne County allegedly received a copy of the polygraph examiner's report for an internal-affairs investigation.

Sgt. Michael Bemis then accused Mazloum in the interview of "known fraudulent activity within the Arab American community," claiming that Mazloum "failed to report this fraudulent activity," the complaint states.

Bemis claimed to have listened and reviewed Mazloum's entire polygraph test and "confirmed that Mazloum admitted to knowing about fraud that Arab Americans commit and his travels to Mecca," the complaint states.

Deputy Chief Tonya Guy wrote a report as well that allegedly indicated Mazloum's supposed admission to knowing about a fraud ring in the Arab-American community.

Mazloum says this is untrue since "no audible tape recording exists of the polygraph examination conducted by the customs and border patrol."

It has also been determined "that neither Bemis nor Guy have ever heard or confirmed the statements contained within the examination," Mazloum says.

Despite having "categorically denied" any knowledge of the alleged Arab-American fraud, Mazloum says he was fired on March 11, 2014, "with fifteen years of service and no prior discipline record."

Noting that he had a "just cause" employment contract, Mazloum says his firing amounts to discrimination over "his Arab heritage and Muslim faith."

Mazloum is represented by Amir Makled from the Law Office of Cyril C. Hall PC of Dearborn, MI,

In addition to lost wages and benefits, Mazloum seeks compensatory and exemplary damages.

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