A KFC franchisee who sells halal chicken to the Chicago-area Muslim community filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging the fried chicken giant's policy prohibiting franchisees from making religious claims about its food.

Afzal Lokhandwala, owner of eight Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in Illinois, sued KFC Corporation in Chicago federal court, arguing enforcement of the policy would force him to close four of his restaurants, which sell halal chicken that is permissible according to Islamic law.

"For 14 years, KFCC has permitted and helped plaintiffs to sell halal poultry products to KFC customers," the complaint states. "Despite the long-standing custom, practice and agreement between the parties for 14 years, KFCC, without justification or substantiation, is now attempting to enforce a policy allegedly in existence since 2009 on plaintiffs in violation of franchise agreements."

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