Conservative Group Defends Muslim-Owned Café from ‘Islamophobia’ Charge

CAIR microphone (Jessica Gresko / Associated Press)
Jessica Gresko / Associated Press

The conservative American Freedom Law Center is defending a trendy California restaurant, Urth Caffé, and plans a countersuit against seven Muslim women who sued the cafe claiming they were targeted because of Islamophobia.

The co-owner of the restaurant is a Muslim woman, and had initially authorized calling the police to deal with the women, who were allegedly disruptive.

“This lawsuit is a fraud and a hoax on the courts and the media. Beware,” said David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel.

Seven plaintiffs filed the original lawsuit against Urth Caffé in Laguna Beach claiming they were targeted for being “visibly Muslim,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The headscarf-wearing women claim they were asked to leave the cafe before they finished eating.

Their attorney, Mohammad Tajsar, painted the instance as one in a series of hate crimes against Muslims in the area. However the Times noted that the restaurant is popular among Orange County Muslims and Middle Eastern tourists.

Yerushalmi described the incident:

The Urth Caffe did not discriminate against the women who have filed this fraudulent lawsuit.  The claim that these women were asked to leave the café because they were wearing hijabs is laughable.  That night, as every Friday night, a large number of young people, including a majority of whom are Muslim and of Arab descent, make up the base of Urth Caffe’s customers.  Not surprisingly, many of these customers are women wearing hijabs.  None of these other Muslim women were asked to leave.  The women who now claim victim status were not asked to leave, but only to abide by the café’s policy to give up their high-demand outside patio table after 45 minutes to allow other customers, including those wearing hijabs, to enjoy the experience.

According to a release from the AFLC, Jilla Berkman, a Muslim woman herself, owns the cafe with her husband. Mrs. Berkman approved the call to have police “loud and abusive” women who refused to give up their table according to cafe policy.

The AFLC further stated that the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Urth Caffé is a “college-age activist for Palestinian causes who self-promotes her involvement in radical organizations, at least one of which calls for the destruction of Israel.”

AFLC co-founder and senior counsel Robert Muise said, “This fraudulent lawsuit is what the Muslim Brotherhood itself describes as ‘civilization jihad.’  In other words, this lawsuit is being waged to use our anti-discrimination laws not for equal protection, but to attain special protection and rights for sharia-adherent Muslims who reject America and the Judeo-Christian values it stands for.”

Muise also named the Council on American-Islamic Relations as the real cuplrit behind the lawsuit:

CAIR, currently named a terrorist organization by the UAE, was previously named as an unindicted co-conspirator and Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the successful prosecution of a terrorist funding cell organized around one of the largest Muslim charities, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF).  HLF raised funds for violent jihad on behalf of Hamas, and top CAIR officials were part of the conspiracy.

The AFLC countersuit will allege that the seven women were trespassing, and will seek damages for filing what is being called a “fraudulent lawsuit.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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