A controversy has erupted following a Muslim woman’s claim that she and her friends were asked to leave a popular California restaurant after 45 minutes because they are Muslim, with the owner rejecting the accusation and his lawyer warning that such charges can prompt criminal acts against his clients.
“This appears to be inciting violence against our client,” lawyer Larry Klayman told WND of the dispute that erupted between a customer, Sara Farsakh, and the Urth Café in Laguna Beach.
Here’s one image of a threat, warning the “clock is ticking:”
Farsakh posted a video on Facebook suggesting she and her friends were discriminated against because they are Muslim, and shortly after the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Los Angeles area got involved.
Its statement expressed it was “deeply concerned that a group of Muslim women were kicked out of Urth Caffe while they were still eating.”
The Islam advocacy organization noted that the café posts a policy that patrons must relinquish their seats after 45 minutes at certain times, but claimed, “the group inquired about the policy … [and] were taken aback because the café was not busy, there were plenty of seats available both inside and outside the restaurant and several patrons who had arrived before the group had not been asked to leave.”
The claim continued, “In fact two different groups approached the Muslim patrons and informed them that they had arrived before them and had not been asked to leave.”
However, restaurateur Shallom Berkman, whose clientele in Laguna Beach includes a significant percentage of Muslims and who is working with investors in Saudi Arabia on a restaurant there, told reporters he’s a Jew with a Muslim wife and they considering themselves “a sign of world peace.” He confirmed there were customers waiting, and said the policy simply is there to “make things fair and accommodate everyone who wants to enjoy Urth Café.”
He said the 12 women in the group were not asked to leave because they are Muslim, and he worried about their offended feelings, offering Farsakh a meal – on the house.
Here are the woman’s claims, posted online:
But Klayman said the issues are little more complicated, and being publicly accused of being anti-Muslim these days can trigger violence.
He cited recent terror attacks by Muslims on innocent people in San Bernardino, Paris, Brussels, and more.
And he confirmed there already had been threats against his clients.
Klayman, who said several Muslims have come forward too side with the restaurant owners on the issue, told WND his clients are considering whether, and how, they should respond to the circumstances that have created the threats against them.
“This is a very serious matter,” Klayman told WND. “It has been reported at the highest levels of the FBI.”
A report from ABC said the outrage generated by Farsakh’s decision to go public on Facebook with the video “prompted Yelp to block anyone from reviewing Urth Caffe so that people wouldn’t post their views on the news story.”
“During our busy rush times, if you have already been at a table for 45 minutes or longer, please share or give your table to someone who is waiting. If tables are available, you are certainly welcome to enjoy Urth for as long as you desire,” it states.
The restaurant called police and had them ask the women to leave when they refused to comply with a manager’s request regarding the policy, multiple reports say.
But commentator Daniel Greenfield at Front Page Mag jumped right to the point, headlining a commentary “Another Muslim ‘minor inconvenience hate’ hoax gets shot down.”
“Actual minorities have hate crimes. Muslims mainly seem to have minor inconveniences. Like the Muslim passenger who was supposedly refused a can of diet coke by the flight attendant… only because she was Muslim. Or the Muslim who allegedly suffered a dirty look. Or were asked to leave a coffee shop after 45 minutes of hogging a table,” he wrote.
“For some reason, this incredibly Islamophobic coffee shop let her and her friends order, sit and hang out for 45 minutes. And then only asked them to leave after 45 minutes. Which is the policy,” he wrote. “I’m sure Obama will be commenting on this before long. Because tragic minor inconveniences of hate like this cannot and must not be tolerated. Muslims should receive special exemption from all normal rules, whether while flying or at restaurants. The failure to respect Muslim Privilege is itself discriminatory.”
Klayman noted that the damage already is being done to the restaurant because of the woman’s claims, citing online reviews making “racist” “prejudice” “outright racist” “xenophobic” and more accusations.
See them here: