Cafe Countersuit

Soondus Ahmed, one of seven Muslim women who claimed they were kicked out of Urth Caffe for wearing hijabs. -Photo: Joshua Sudock

Laguna Beach’s Urth Caffe claims ‘Civilizational Jihad’ in countersuit against Muslim women.

The attorney Davi Yerushalmi who is representing Jilla Berkman, the owner of Urth Caffé is countersuing a group of seven Muslim women who had filed a case in court accusing Berkman of anti-Muslim discrimination. The Muslim women, of whom six wore the traditional hijab, claimed that they were ordered to leave the café before the set timeframe of 45 minutes elapsed. They claim that they were forced to leave the restaurant when police were called due to allegations that they were rude and abusive to the café employees when they were asked to leave.

Mohammad Tajsar, one of the lawyers representing the women, cited the incident as one of the ongoing crimes that are set against Muslims in the region. The women claim the owner of the café called the police to escort them out due to Islamophobia. They said; “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 Caffé’s customers,” Yerushalmi wrote. “Not surprisingly, many of these customers are women wearing hijabs. None of these other Muslim women were asked to leave.”

In fact one of the women identified as Sara Farsakh took snapshots of empty tables that night and posted them online demonstrating how other groups of women who were there for a longer time were not ordered to leave. The allegations have been contradicted by David Yerushlami (one of the controversial lawyers) who has argued that the lawsuit is set in junction with the Council on American-Islamic Relations plan to “weaken western civilization” a claim that CAIR has denied.

In an interview with The Guardian, Hussam Ayloush, the Executive Director of CAIR, affirmed their position for not bearing the responsibility of that incidence. He pointed the fingers of blame to the owner of the café claiming that; “if anyone had any doubts about what happened on that day, those doubts are eliminated by the fact that the owners of Urth Caffé decided to retain David Yerushalmi. There are 1.2 million attorneys in America, and for them to choose the most hateful, the most bigoted attorney, tells a lot about the values that Urth Caffe’s owners hold.”

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