A customer at an ice cream shop started complaining in a racist manner about two young Muslim women, who were wearing hijabs, when the cashier, Jessie Noah, refunded his money and kicked him out. According to ABC7 News, the customer began saying that he didn’t want them in his country, and the employee of the ice cream shop in Orange, CA quickly refunded his money and told him to leave. One of the Muslim women started filming with her cell phone and uploaded it to Twitter. The story has gained a lot of attention, and the Muslim women were grateful for the shop employee and owners defending them.
Ammari said the guy came “literally out of nowhere” and started talking badly about them. Ammari said the shop staff showed what “an American is really about.”
“Usually you end up with someone joining in on the Islamophobia and bullying or harassing the Muslim, whereas in our case, we’ve had them defend us and show us what being an American is really about.”
Along with Ammari and Takkish, the group Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) called an “Ice Cream and Unity” event gathering at Andrew’s Ice Cream and Desserts in Orange on Saturday, May 29. People packed the ice cream shop to show their support for the staff at Andrew’s and their defense of the Muslim women. Greg and Cynthia Ramsay owns Andrew’s and Cynthia said that she was “upset by the man’s offensive comments.” Ramsay said she wants everyone to feel comfortable in her shop.
Muslims Give Thanks to Andrew's Ice Cream's Stand Against Islamophobia! https://t.co/z6vdVmgrbL— OC Weekly (@OCWeekly) June 1, 2016
The OC Weekly reported on the CAIR event at the ice cream shop and said that customers were lined up outside the door of Andrew’s Ice Cream on Saturday. The local Muslim community showed up in a show of unity after the incident. CAIR-LA (Anaheim) Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said that the event was “much more than ice cream.”
“This is truly about preserving everyone’s dignity.”
CAIR wanted the event to honor all who were involved in the incident and took a stand against Islamophobia. The organization presented awards to Takkish and Ammari for “reacting with composure in the face of hate,” and turned to the co-owners and employee Jessie Noah and told them that in his opinion the shop was a place that represented “what America should be.”
The Weekly article was more detailed about the incident which led the ice cream shop employee, Ms. Noah, to step up and defend the two women. At first, the two women didn’t realize the customer was being racist. The employee said while the two women were enjoying their dessert, the man was complaining about them to her as he bought ice cream. Noah said the man was saying really derogatory and nasty things about the young women and didn’t want to repeat what he said in order to deny him a platform. After the customer left, the employee went over to the two women and apologized for his remarks that they didn’t hear at the time.
Then, the man decided to come back in the store and said he had been served the wrong ice cream and started again on Takkish and Ammari. It was then that Ammari started filming with her phone, saying that she was “fearful at the moment.” That’s also when the employee went to the register and gave the customer his $3 back and told him his business wasn’t wanted there.
The video has been re-tweeted about 28,000 times, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Ammari told Weekly that the event was a great response to what had happened to her and Takkish.
“We’re having a celebration to celebrate these women, their courage and how every American should be.”
Ramsay said that she was “humbled and amazed at the output.” The shop owner said she is a special education teacher by day and teaches her children to “play and talk nice with everybody.”
“It shouldn’t be a big deal because in America, we say ‘liberty and justice for all.’”
As for the employee who didn’t hesitate to kick the customer out, she told Weekly that she didn’t feel like a hero.
“I feel like I just did the right thing.”
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[Photo by Anna-Mari West/Shutterstock]