Muslim Women Sues Southern California Restaurant For Discrimination
May 05, 2016 07:26 AM EDT
A group of Muslim women filed a discrimination lawsuit against a restaurant in Southern California on Monday, for allegedly kicking them out of the establishment.
Six Muslim women who were all wearing their hijabs when the incident took place said they were told to leave the Laguna Beach restaurant, Urth Caffe, on April 22nd because the staff said they had violated a policy that limits seating to 45 minutes, the Guardian reported. However, on the footage they filmed as they were leaving shows there were still many unoccupied tables inside the restaurant at the time.
The lawsuit filed by the women stated the said beach restaurant was "half empty" and other "non-Muslims" that have been seated for a longer time than them were not told to leave. The women were forced to go out after the restaurant management called security personnel when they protested the unfair treatment. One of the women, Sara Farsakh, 29, said she cried all the way home. "I was just so shocked and hurt by what happened," she said.
Farsakh posted the incident on her Facebook. She wrote that the incident was a "painful and embarrassing reminder of what it is like to be visibly Muslim even in liberal California. By visibly Muslim, I mean women who wear the hijab, or headscarf," the Time quoted.
However, on the statement posted by the Urth Caffe on Facebook in 26th of April, the coffee restaurant denied all the "racial or religious discrimination" claims of Farsakh's group. It also defended their actions by saying the staff "properly and justifiably applied company procedures" because they believed Farsakh and her friends committed a violation.
A related case of discrimination was also filed in California recently when a Long Beach police forcibly removed a Muslim woman's hijab while being arrested, Yahoo News reported. Kirsty Powell, the plaintiff is suing the city and its police department for the incident last year.
Meanwhile, Farsakh said she filed the lawsui because of the increasing discrimination Muslims have faced in the wake of the racist rhetoric in American politics.