Kerbey Lane Cafe apologizes after two Muslim women verbally attacked
"Nobody deserves to be treated like that," said Mason Ayer, Chief Executive of Kerbey Lane Café.
Ayer is apologizing after two Muslim women were verbally attacked at the Kerbey Lane Café across the street from the University of Texas at Austin campus. What should have been a nice Sunday brunch took an ugly turn at the restaurant.
"She was very upset when we spoke," said Ayer. "No one deserves that."
Ayer says he's sick to his stomach over how two Muslim women were treated in the restaurant.
"I think that she had been in every sense, assaulted by this person," said Ayer.
Two friends say they were the victims of Islamophobia while they were waiting to be seated. Both were born in the USA, but were told by a male customer to just "go back to Saudi Arabia". One of the women was asked if she "had a gun" and told "she should just shoot him".
"He'd made sort of ignorant inflammatory comments. He made some reference to a firearm at one point and I think she was deeply shaken," said Ayer.
The women wrote about the encounter on Facebook and the posts went viral. They said they have never felt more "dehumanized" and "humiliated." The bigoted remarks hurt, but worse than words was the inaction by others in the restaurant.
"There's terrifying, terrifying events that occur on a daily basis in this country," said Ayer.
The CEO of Kerbey Lane Café says employees and customers might have been too intimidated to help.
"I'd like to think in a situation like that I'd have the courage to stand up and remove this monster, but you just don't know what someone's going to do," said Ayer.
On Monday, some of the customers being served lunch were as engrossed in the controversy as the food.
"If you hear that going on you should stick up for people," said UT sophomore Kendall Meyerton.
This tableful of UT students didn't expect bigoted remarks like this to be made in this city or so close to their campus.
"It's disappointing that something like that happened, especially in a place like Austin where we think of ourselves as very liberal and accepting," said Meyerton.
"I hope people would take a look at themselves and say what would I do in that situation," said Madi Goll, a UT student. "Maybe it would change their minds and maybe they would stand up and say something."
On Monday, Kerbey Lane Café is apologizing and promising to call police if there are any future attacks, even if words are the weapon.