An Australian bar located in the town of Longreach, Queensland has attracted controversy after displaying a sign that said, “Sorry No Muslims.” The bar in question, Eagles Nest Bar and Grill, exhibited a chalkboard outside its property saying, “2000 years ago Jesus Christ made headlines turning water into wine… the tradition continues…We turn money into beer (sorry no Muslims).”
An image of the chalkboard was then uploaded to the restaurant’s Facebook page on Friday. The image attracted mixed reaction online despite the anti-Muslim content. The woman who uploaded the image to restaurant’s Facebook page, Helen Day, wrote, “Just a bit surprised to see the sign up ‘sorry no Muslims’… what’s that about???”
The owner of the bar, John Hawkes, claimed responsibility for the “Sorry No Muslims” remark. Hawkes made no qualms on where he stands.
“Over the past 24 hours, my business and now my home has received more than 200 phone calls. While the great majority are in support of free speech and are of patriotic sentiment, we have fielded too many abusive and threatening calls. For this I apologise to my family. I sincerely hope I don’t end up sanitising my every thought to the robotic degree that is evident in commercial life around us. I did not encourage or envisage the social media response to this sign, but the story, if there is one, is in the reaction, not the action.”
Just recently, Australia became embroiled in a hostage situation that claimed the lives of two innocent persons, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, at the hands of a lone gunman who was also killed when the police attempted to free the hostages. The gunman ordered his hostages to hold up a Jihadi black flag with an Islamic creed declaring, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
Day transcribed a post via on ABC Open, “Whilst standing and staring at this sign in disbelief, I reflected on what those three words actually meant. I have several Muslim friends as well as Hindu and Sikh. I have white friends who converted from Christianity to Islam.”
The post went on to describe her disappointment with the establishment.
“Unfortunately, I do not believe when the owner chalked these three words up on his board there was that much thought about whether he would recognize a Muslim or not. Anyone who looks like the stereotype will not be allowed in regardless if they are Muslim or not. I can only imagine that this sign appeared in response to the Sydney siege. Does that mean another sign “Sorry No Women” will appear in response to the stabbings in Cairns? That would probably be a step too far. Targeting minority groups such as Muslims would not have as much impact on the profits. It is extremely sad that a business in Longreach has appeared to react to the Sydney siege by not allowing Muslims to come into his establishment whereas Sydney’s reaction, #Illridewithyou, has drawn all the communities together. I will await the conclusion of this disappointing story.”
The Mayor of Longreach, Joe Owens, also commented on the matter. “Longreach is a town I believe that welcomes all races and all religions. It’s a very unfortunate thing that has come out from one individual,” said the Mayor.
Was the owner within his rights to display the “Sorry No Muslims” sign? Post your opinions in the comments section below.
[Image via ABC Online]