A Muslim woman and a group of her friends took the Internet by storm last week after filing a lawsuit against a restaurant in California, accusing them of discrimination.
According to Sara Farsakh, the Urth Caffe where they were dining asked them to leave their table, an act which they deemed a result of their wearing Islamic headscarfs. However, the establishment does have a 45-minute limit, as tables are in high demand at the eatery.
Well, it looks like the tables are being turned, as the Urth Cafe has filed a countersuit against the women.
“I truly believe had I been sitting there with my friends that were not wearing headscarfs, we would not have been asked to leave,” Farsakh added, noting other customers who witnessed the April 22 incident told her they’d been seated longer and weren’t asked to leave.
Farsakh also recounted her experience in a Facebook post, which included video of police showing up to escort them off the premises.
But after their lawsuit was filed, Urth Caffe indicated it planned on countersuing — and it has made good on that promise.
Attorney David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center, which represents Urth Caffe, told LawNewz the co-owner of the restaurant, Jilla Berkman, is Muslim and many of her customers are Muslim or Arab.
“This lawsuit claiming religious discrimination is a fraud and a hoax on the courts and the media,” Yershalmi told LawNewz in a statement. “It is nothing short of an abuse of process to extort public apologies and other accommodations from my client, Urth Caffe.”
Yerushalmi noted in a court document filed Wednesday that there was “an underlying agenda for this litigation that has nothing to do with justice,” LawNewz reported, adding that Yerushalmi characterized Farsakh as a college-aged activist who “self-promotes her involvement in radical organizations.”
The women’s attorney, Mohammad Tajsar, countered Yerushalmi by saying the accusation of an “underlying agenda” to the discrimination suit was “totally unsubstantiated.”
Tajsar went on to say the restaurant moved the ladies because it’s a “high tension time” for Muslims in the area and Urth Caffe didn’t want to make customers uncomfortable.
Given that Farsakh is considered to be some sort of activist, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to discover the whole situation was fabricated in order to push some sort of cause into the media.
Our culture is one that seems to be perpetually offended, so it’s really difficult to decipher when there is a legitimate complaint and when there’s not.
Something does seem a little fishy with this situation though. It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of the hearing, which is scheduled for next Tuesday.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]