A Christian man yelled at and harassed a Muslim woman while they were in line at a coffee shop in Riverside, Calif., and the barista and her supervisor stepped in.
Kathleen “Amina” Deady was wearing a niqab, a traditional Muslim head dress symbolizing modesty, when a still-unidentified man standing in front of her said, “Is this Halloween or something?” That would ultimately lead to the man yelling aggressively that he doesn’t “like” her religion, and then being denied service by staff at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
The video can be found here:
“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
The video of the interaction has gone viral, but in case you haven’t seen it, here’s what happened.
The video opens with the man asking her, “Is this Halloween or something?”
When she questions him about what he means, he snidely says she should tell him what’s wrong with her.
“Do you know I’m a Muslim?” she asks. He says he does.
“I don’t like that because I don’t like your religion,” he tells her. “It says to kill me, and I don’t want to be killed by you, how’s that?”
“Are you scared of me?” she presses. “Have you read the Koran?”
He responds that he’s read “enough of it to know” and says he’s “absolutely” a Christian.
This is a pretty sad interaction, and not just because it involves discrimination based on religion. It’s also sad because the man’s perspective is skewed by his own cultural ignorance. He says he has read “enough of” the Qur’an to know it’s bad, but my guess is he has very little experience with the text.
As they already pointed out over at the Washington Post, there are bad passages and good passages that explicitly contradict those (Yeah, I know, you’re all surprised that religious texts have contradictions).
When Deady asked the man why he thought she wanted to kill him, he didn’t reply. He might have been referring to a Koran verse that is often distorted by those who insist Islam wants a war on unbelievers.
The man was ignoring (or unaware of) verses that explicitly forbid murder — such as “if any one killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole mankind,” as a Muslim language-arts teacher once explained in The Washington Post.
This is just another example of a “Good Christian” treating another religious believer – someone with a closely related faith – with contempt and hatred. Unfortunately, I’ve seen atheists speak similarly to Muslims, so there’s work to do on our side, too.
I’m happy that no one was hurt, and that the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stood by its workers in their brave decision to stand up for Deady.