A Minnesota restaurant owner has put up a sign saying "Muslims Get Out," and he is making no apologies for it, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting. In fact, says the restaurant owner, business has never been better.
You can find Treats Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor just a bit south of Lonsdale, Minnesota, which is itself about 40 miles south of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Normally, the sign proffers the small mom and pop store's specials. But this week, owner Dan Ruedinger, in response to a terrorist attack at the Crossroads Mall in nearby St. Cloud, took a stand.
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As reported by the Inquisitr, a Somali immigrant named Dahir Adan stabbed 10 people, injuring three, before being shot dead by an off-duty law enforcement officer. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to WCCO (Minneapolis), Ruedinger says the sign isn't directed at all Muslims -- only "Muslim extremists."
"It's time that people started standing up, not worrying about the PC crowd and do what is right. And I feel what we're doing is right. We are not targeting the Muslims in general, just the extremists. And that's all I can say. It's my right and I'm going to stand up, and I wish more people would do it."
Not everyone in and around Lonsdale is on board with the sign's message. On Monday, a woman attempted to take down letters from the sign, leading to a "brief altercation" between the woman and the owner. No arrests were made. On Monday night, a handful of people showed up at the restaurant to protest the sign, holding signs with slogans such as "Love Trumps Hate" and "Racism will not solve any problem."
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A man named Joe Reyes posted a photo of the sign on Facebook.
"I do not like seeing our town in this negative image of intolerance. I love this town. This business does not represent our town."
Even Lonsdale's mayor, Tim Rud, doesn't like the sign.
"I do not condone the message of the sign, and it certainly does not reflect the views of myself, the City Council, city staff or the many community residents that I know."
However, Rud also added that he supports the business owner's right to free speech.
When Ruedinger arrived at the restaurant Tuesday morning to open it, he found that the sign had been vandalized. Bottles were thrown through the window, and a "hate note" had been left.
Protests and vandalism aside, Ruedinger says he has no intention of taking down the sign, saying he will not "be peer pressured by the politically correct crowd." And as for business? It's never been better, he says. He had to bring on three extra workers on Monday to cover the extra crowds.
"My business actually doubled last night. One guy came in and said, 'I've never been here, and I will be back.'"
Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Star-Tribune that he intended to meet with Ruedinger to explain to him that the sign is offensive. He also hopes that Ruedinger can be persuaded to meet with other leaders of the local Islamic community to learn more about Islam. Whether or not that meeting has taken place, is unclear, as of this writing.
Do you believe that the "Muslims Get Out" sign is offensive? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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