Muslim family sues Empire State Building for $5m

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A Muslim family is suing the owners of New York City’s Empire State Building for $5m after they were allegedly forced to leave the tourism site’s observation deck as they were praying in public.

The Manhattan federal court suit, seen by the New York Post, claims that Fahad Tirmizi and Amina Tirmizi’s civil rights were violated when they were “assaulted, battered and forcibly removed” from the skyscraper’s observatory while praying at 23:00 on July 2 last year.

The case, against property manager Malkin and security company Andrew International, alleges that the Tirmizis were unfairly targeted “because they were Muslim, wearing traditional Muslim attire, and/or engaged in Muslim prayer”. They were with their two young children at the time, the suit says.

According to the New York Post, Fahad Tirmizi was “menacingly poked” by a security guard, before the entire family was “forcibly escorted from the building”.

“The defendants have an unlawful policy, custom, practice, procedure and/or rule, whether express or implied, of barring patrons from exercising their religious beliefs in the Empire State Building and/or the observatory,” it adds.

Requests for comment made by the newspaper to the Tirmizi family and Malkin were not immediately returned.

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Posted by: Zain

@turk971, Just hilarious. Your obliviousness to yourself is fascinating. Your entire argument is based on getting others to feel like you rather than appealing to logic and the rule of law.
Tolerance does not mean, never meant and will never ever mean contradicting reason and crossing the norms of tolerance itself. Under the dubious pretext of tolerance, you want to create a lawless society. Your interpretation of the concept of tolerance has made the word become meaningless and the concept become empty. That occurs when it is applied to anything and everything without discretion, that is why we have great reverence for the expression Zero Tolerance for crime, narcotics, rape, sodomy, sexual assault, nudism, violence, unruly expats, alcoholism etc.

Posted by: Doug

Of course Zain understands what he is saying. He is clearly saying that Muslims should never, ever be impeded in their religion under any circumstances, but those of other religions aren't entitled to the same freedoms because they are 'wrong'.

In other words, if you follow a religion other than Islam, that is roughly equivalent to all of the crimes he listed below and you shouldn't be entitled to be tolerated.

Posted by: A.TT

@Zain
So no answer to the turk971 then.
Basically in your book, tolerance means what it suits you and as long it is not applicable to others.
Muslims shall be allowed to do as they wish in the name of God? Do you actually understand what you are saying?

Posted by: Zain

Why should a devoted man pray in private? Let us not confuse answering God's call with answering nature's call, I surely understand the privacy that is needed in answering nature's call but no privacy is needed to answer God's call, period!

Posted by: turk971

@Zain, do you by any chance mean this to be applicable to all religion in all countries around the world? Let me qualify my question with a concrete specific question. Do you mean to say that a devoted Hindu man should also be able to pray and answer his God's call in public in Saudi Arabia for example? If you mean it this way, then I agree with you totally. Anyone should be able to practice his religion anytime anywhere. But if not, then I would say you yourself are confused. Until each one of us around the world learn and practice TOLERANCE, then we are entitled to do our prayers only in private no matter what religion you belong to.

Posted by: me2

Where would we all be without Lawyers and their litigious, loquacious language.
That is what makes a law suit and what makes for free publicity as well.
Be interesting if the "assaulted, battered and forcibly removed" was captured on film. In these days of ubiquitous mobiles I cant imagine nobody recorded it?

Posted by: WHJ

Perhaps some of the illustrious commentators should consider reading the article again. The family is suing because they were "assaulted, battered and forcibly removed?. The last time I checked, assault and battery were a crime and constituted grounds for a lawsuit!
This is not about googling prayer laws around the world and claiming to know facts more than the next guy. Nor is this about Christians being allowed to pray in Muslim countries and what not! These individuals were "forcibly escorted" and "menacingly poked" in front of their two kids. One would expect otherwise from civilized people, don't you think?

Posted by: WHJ

From Wikipedia:"Assault and battery is the combination of two violent crimes: assault (the threat of violence) and battery (physical violence). This legal distinction exists only in jurisdictions that distinguish assault as threatened violence rather than actual violence."
Again, the point, which seemed to have escaped our most illustrious commentator, was that the family was suing on the grounds that they had been assaulted, forcibly removed and menacingly poked in front of their kids, not just beause they felt they were descriminated against. The case does not mention a most serious charge or a lesser charge! Don't let your imagination get the better of you Telco.

Posted by: The Consultant

@WHJ, whilst assault and battery sound like serious things, assault does not actually require any contact between the assailant and the victim, and the slightest touch could in some circumstances constitute battery. Whilst the term conjures up images of someone being viciously beaten, the truth is likely to be more mundane. Whether they have actually been assaulted and battered will depend on whether their "forcible removal" was legal or not, and may hinge on points such as whether there was a safety issue and/or if the family were asked to move along but refused to do so. In any case, I would find it unlikely that a $5M lawsuit could be justified (although we are talking about the US, so anything is possible) in this case - if the family had suffered any actual physical harm I'm sure their lawyers would be going to town with claims of "aggravated assault" or some kind of actual injury and/or psychological damage.

Posted by: AUH

Each country has their own laws... why are some people mentioning UAE and Saudi Arabia here, that happened in USA and they have their own laws and its up to their government to decide. If they are US citizens then the US govt will know how to deal with it. Being a muslim I want to ask that person what prayer that was which couldn't wait, there is no prayer at 11 pm and an observation deck is no place to pray anyways. Please stop blaming countries for their laws, I would suggest you study them before going there and if you don't like or don't agree with them, then don't go there.

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