Muslim suing Jew 'joked about religion'

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

A Muslim woman suing her former boss for race discrimination had allegedly emailed him Jewish jokes.

Secretary Jasmine Akhtar told a central London employment tribunal that partners at London firm Goodge Law racially abused her and called her a “Paki”.

She is seeking damages for derogatory remarks which she said got worse when she announced her pregnancy.

But Richard Samuel, defending the firm, said partner Michael Greenstein and Ms Akhtar had exchanged “friendly banter” about Mr Greenstein's Jewish background.

Mr Samuel said Ms Akhtar had emailed Mr Greenstein telling him to “stop picking and choosing, stop behaving like a Muslim, it’s embarrassing".

On another occasion Ms Akhtar, 28, allegedly responded to an email about throwing wet sponges at her by writing: “Typical Jewish behaviour, always first in line to hit a Muslim.”

Mr Samuel told the tribunal that this and other emails were part of an easy relationship where both could “joke confidently and know that people wouldn't be offended".

The case continues.

Last updated: 3:30pm, July 7 2010