The owner of an upscale restaurant in Paris has provoked uproar after refusing to serve two veiled Muslim women, claiming that “all Muslims are terrorists.”
A video circulating online shows two Muslim women being refused service by the alleged owner of Le Cenacle restaurant in Tremblay-en-France on Saturday. The altercation was recorded by another customer on their mobile phone.
On Sunday, the restaurant owner was forced to apologise to an angry crowd who had gathered outside the restaurant in protest, according to Russia Today.
In the video, one of the women can be heard saying: “we do not wish to be served by a racist.”
“Racists don’t kill people,” the owner responded.
“The terrorists are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists,” the owner goes on. “They recently killed a priest. This is a secular country and I have a right to an opinion… I don’t want people like you here. Full stop.”
The owner then finally tells the women to “get out,” to which they reply “don’t worry, we’re leaving.”
Many have taken to Twitter to condemn the incident as blatant Islamophobia, with the hashtag #Cenacle going viral on social media.
le cenacle a restaurant to avoid when Traveling to France if you are a muslim, there is no need to get humilated (again! french colonies)— larki desi (@larkidesi) August 29, 2016
Translation: I encourage the @DILCRA to initiate investigations and sanctions against the intolerable behavior of this restaurant owner #Cenacle
The incident comes as tensions surrounding France’s Muslim community reach a peak, with several French towns banning the burkini – the full-body swimsuits worn by Muslim women. The bans were deemed “seriously and clearly illegal” by France's highest court last week.
With a political comeback in mind, Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy also joined the debate, saying on Monday that he would change the country's constitution to ban full-body burkini swimsuits.
Islamophobic incidents have risen in France, follow a string of recent attacks claimed by the Daesh group. Most recently, an 86-year-old priest in a Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church. In another Daesh-attributed attack, 86 people were killed in mid-June after a box truck plowed into a crowd of spectators watching a Bastille Day fireworks show in Nice.