Seven Muslim women filed a civil rights lawsuit last month in which they claim they were embarrassed and targeted and eventually forced to leave the Urth Caffe by the establishments management. Now, the owner of the restaurant in Laguna Beach, California filed a counter claim in which he alleges their suit is fraudulent.
David Yerushalmi who is the co-founder and counsel for the American Freedom Law Center said,
“It is nothing short of an abuse of process to extort public apologies and other accommodations from my client, Urth Caffe.”
The counter claim was filed in the Orange County Superior Court and says the lawsuit is an abuse of process and that the women remained at the cafe after being asked to leave. Yerushalmi defended his client iterating the staff was following through with the policy that patrons cannot remain for more than 45 minutes at a table without ordering food during busy hours.
The women reportedly pulled three tables together in the front patio. They refused to share a table after requested by the cafe managers. They also refused to move to the side of patio and inside the cafe. The managers said the women became combative and argumentative and had to be escorted out by law enforcement officials says the suit.
What do the women say was the cause of them being asked to leave? Take a guess. Because they were Muslim. They were wearing traditional hijabs.
One of their three attorneys said the cafe,
“targeted these women as a way of cleansing their location of women that appeared to be Muslim to appease the Islamaphobia in a predominantly white Laguna Beach community.”
He went on,
“We vigorously deny they broke the trespass law because they followed the orders of the police. We view their cross-complaint as a mechanism to question the motivation of the women who came to Urth Caffe to have a good time and a further attempt to scare them not to pursue their lawsuit.”
Oddly enough one of the owners is Jewish and his name is Shallok Berkman. His wife, Jilla Berkman is Muslim. It was his WIFE who told management to call the police when the women became aggressive with wait staff.
Yerushalmi, the attorney for Urth Cafe, made an impassioned statement on his clients defense,
“Shallom and Jilla are defending the character of this really neat cafe and its employees. They’re incensed their employees were called bigots. The claim that these women were asked to leave the cafe 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 was asked to leave.”
It’s very similar to the police brutality case in Chicago where black activists accused cops of being racist bigots. Yet the cop was black, the victim was black, the judge was black and so was the public prosecutor. This case will most likely be laughed out of court just like the others.