We’ll probably never know what the Fitness USA patron said to Wardeh Sultan of Dearborn, as she was dutifully at her prayers in a Dearborn Fitness USA. Perhaps it was something like, "if you’re through bowing on that treadmill, can I get on?" or even, "Move it lady, I have to be back to work in 20 minutes!" All that is reported is that the patron “interrupted” Ms. Sultan, which, of course, is enough to base a civil rights complaint on.
Ms. Sultan, who obviously spoke to the press before being properly prepared by legal counsel, said she has been a member of the gym for seven or eight years, and has never had problems praying there before. In other words, Fitness USA has honored her right to worship freely for a long time. But this time when she complained to the manager about being interrupted during her prayers, he told her something to the effect that while her fellow patron did have to respect Ms. Sultan, her fellow patron didn’t have to respect her God (Allah).
“I can’t believe you said that!” exclaimed Ms. Sultan, who, as if in a nightmare, suddenly realized that, after waking up that morning in America, had somehow found herself adrift in an unrecognizable land where people around her can't be forced by gym managers to respect Allah!
Imad Hamad, regional director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, has leapt into the fray, saying, “They (Muslims) are resenting that they are to be suppressed from expressing themselves freely, like others,” Hamad said.