A restaurant in an Australian town has sparked reactions that range from outrage to praise after placing a “Sorry, No Muslims” sign outside its front doors , according to various media reports.
The sign was handwritten on a chalkboard displayed outside the Eagle’s Nest Bar and Grill, a restaurant located in the Queensland, Australia town of Longreach.
Just a bit surprised to see the sign up [reading] “Sorry No Muslims” … what’s that about? I certainly won’t be going into a place where my Muslim friends are not welcome!
The Brisbane Times notes that the full message on the sign read, “2000 years ago Jesus Christ made headlines turning water into wine…the tradition continues…We turn money into beer (Sorry No Muslims).”
Last week, an Iranian-born Muslim with a criminal past took many Australians hostage inside a cafe in the heart of Sydney, an incident that has given rise to anti-Islamic sentiment, according to the article.
Comments posted on the Longreach restaurant’s Facebook page range from outrage to praise.
“Good for you, ignore the stupid western media who blindly think all muslims are good, [Islam] is the issue and if you look carefully you will see they HATE US ALL,” reads one message.
“[Fascist] redneck bogans, I hope you close down due to lack of business, hateful grubs,” states another.
The restaurant’s Facebook page moderator, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Brisbane Times that he has “been deleting disgusting and hateful posts.”
Longreach mayor Joe Owens responded to the controversy, saying, “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,” reports Australia’s ABC News.
John Hawkes, the restaurants owner, said the sign was up for nine hours and that he has received more than 200 phone calls in response at his business and home, reports ABC News.
“While the great majority [of phone calls] are in support of free speech and are of patriotic sentiment, we have fielded too many abusive and threatening calls. For this I apologize to my family,” Mr. Hawkes said.
“I sincerely hope I don’t end up sanitizing my every thought to the robotic degree that is evident in commercial life around us,” he added. “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.”