- Viral footage shows a man at a California coffee shop harassing a Muslim customer, asking her, “Is this Halloween or something?”
- Another customer came to the Muslim woman’s defense, calling the man a “f—ing racist.”
- The supervisor of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf location refused to serve the man, saying that he was “disrupting a public place and being very racist.”
Footage from a California coffee shop shows a man berating a Muslim customer before being refused service.
In the video, shared by CJ Werleman on Twitter, a man asks a woman standing next to him in line at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf location, “Is this Halloween or something?”
When asked by the woman, who is wearing a niqab that covers most of her face, why he would say that, the man responds: “Because I want to.” He then says he knows she is a Muslim and that he does not “like” that.
“I don’t like your religion,” he continues. “It says to kill me and I don’t want to be killed by you, how’s that?”
The two engage in a back-and-forth, in which the woman draws comparisons between The Bible and The Quran. The man then says he does not want to have any conversation on the topic.
“You are committing hate speech!” the woman says, as an off-camera male voice yells “get out of here” to the man.
“F—ing racist,” the unseen male customer says. “Shut the f— up.”
The video then shows the supervisor on duty refusing to serve the man, saying that he is “disrupting a public place and being very racist.” The woman, who has been filming the encounter, thanks the manager.
Here’s the footage of the incident (Warning: the video contains graphic language):
"I'm a Muslim [woman]."
"I know your religion and I don't want to be killed by you."
This took place at a cafe in California yesterday. pic.twitter.com/4WAWKcQDh8
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 12, 2018
Footage of the interaction went viral on Twitter over the weekend, with more than 5,000 retweets.
“The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is fully committed to ensuring the wellness and safety of its customers, team members and business,” The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf said in a statement to Business Insider. “We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination of any kind, and have the right to refuse service to any person who makes customers or team members feel endangered in any way.”
The interaction comes at a time when chains and retailers’ responses to seemingly racist actions is under close scrutiny. Since footage of two men being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral in April, countless other stories have emerged of similarly unfair treatment by other companies.