Another incident caught on a mobile in a cafe, this time in Riverside, Los Angeles, caused a stir on social media. A man was upset with a woman in niqab, who told him she was a Muslim. According to the “USA Today”, a barista refused to serve the man who insulted a woman in niqab (a headscarf covering all body except for eyes).
Within three days, the recording was seen on Twitter 1.6 million times. It shows a man turning to a woman and asking: “Is it Halloween or something?”. She answers: “Do you know I am a Muslim” and asks if he has a problem with that. He replies: “I don’t like your religion, how’s that?” and adds, “I do not want to be killed by you.”
The woman tries to drag a man in a discussion about religion. She asks him if he has read the Koran or the Bible and refers to the teachings of Jesus. The man dismisses her, saying “I don’t have any kind of conversation with idiots.” In turn, the woman accuses him of committing hate speech against her, while another customer shouts invectives and calls him a racist. The supervisor, explains that she will not serve the man as he is disturbing peace and is “being very racist”. After that, the man leaves the cafe.
The recording was posted on YouTube a month after Starbucks became embroiled in a dispute related to racism in Philadelphia.
On Saturday, we published an article about the Starbucks’ reaction to the one of the cafe’s clients harassing a Muslim woman in niqab.
There were various comments in the net – some people cheered the man who showed a Muslim that he does not like such outfits in the public space, others thought the guy was racist, others were outraged (or on the contrary – glad) with Starbucks’s attitude, of refusing to sell a coffee to a “racist”.
Sometimes, when we are very involved in such disputes, we forget about basics.
We have no right to attack, harass, also verbally, other people in the public space. It is normal that we may be asked to leave the premises if we disturb other customers. And the way somebody is dressed has nothing to do with it, as long as they do it in accordance with the law.
The context is also of no importance, although those who resist more and more common manifestations of Islam in the public sphere can find it hard to accept.
The matter would look different, if a videotaped attacker wanted to discuss his approach to the matter, even if he explicitly said that it raises his anxiety or reluctance to see such a public demonstration of faith, or separation from society. After all, a café is a place of meetings and discussions.
However, the “hero” of the video took a role of a rightist “social justice warrior”. He behaved exactly the same way as leftist “social justice warriors”, who demand Tommy Robinson to leave cafes, without even discussing with him, or bang at the university hall windows during Jordan B. Peterson’s lecture.
If we were to support it just because “our rationale is the only right one”, then something has gone wrong here.
Compilation of two subsequent texts: