A man has claimed that he was told to stop kissing a female friend in a shisha café in Manchester by the Muslim owner. The café’s management have denied the claims, suggesting that there must have been a misunderstanding as only overly amorous couples would have been asked to desist.
Amir Mohammed, a self-employed builder originally from Iran had visited the café with two friends to round off an evening out. The friends were chatting and giggling. Mr Mohammed said he kissed his female friend a few times on the cheek and lips, but is certain that he was “respectful.” However, staff approached him and told him to stop.
Mr Mohammed later complained to Manchester council, insisting that, in the UK, we have the right to do as we please.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Mr Mohammed recounted the event:
“We went to Rusholme for a nice meal. I was with my female friend and a male friend and we decided to go to Antalya shisha bar after the meal.
“We asked for a menu and ordered drinks and shisha and we were giggling and talking. I started kissing with my female friend and someone tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘you can’t kiss in this coffee shop’.
“He said it was because the boss said.
“I said ‘I’m living in Great Britain’, but he said it was the rules.
“I went there to have a good time and spend my money. We respected what they said and paid the bill but I said I was going to report it to the council. They can’t tell people what to do.
“I’m from Iran myself and a Muslim. The boss of the cafe was Muslim. We’re living in Britain and they can’t stop it. I have travelled to other countries and respected their cultures but they can’t tell us what to do here.
“They said it was because there were children and families around. But it was about 9.30 at night and it was a normal kiss on the cheek and the lips. I was being respectful.”
In light of Mr Mohammed’s complaint, Rusholme councillor Rabnawaz Akbar visited the café and spoke to the manager, who assured him there was no ban on kissing at her premises.
“The manager said there must have been a ‘misunderstanding’,” Cllr Akbar said.
“She said there have been a couple of times when people have been over-amorous on the settees and they have had to stop these people.
“In those cases they had their legs crossed over each other and were French kissing when there were families around.”