A woman wearing a traditional niqab and targeted in a racist rant by a man in line at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafe in Riverside, California, confronted him with the help of another customer and a coffee shop employee who came to her defense, video shows.
The harassment, captured on video that was shared on social media Saturday, coincides with what researchers and Muslim-American advocates say has been a spike in such cases across the country.
During the incident, the man is shown on video asking, “Is this Halloween or something?”
“Why would you say that? What’s wrong with me?” the woman responds. “Do you know I’m a Muslim?”
The man indicates that he does and says, “I don’t like that.”
“I don’t like your religion because it says to kill me, and I don’t want to be killed by you. How’s that?” he adds.
“You are committing hate speech,” the woman says.
A third person, customer Barry Landau, can be heard defending the woman in the video.
“Get out of here! [Expletive] racist,” Landau said. “I said get out of here! Why are you doing this to her?”
The two men then exchanged insults. Landau told NBC4 a woman joined the man is yelling at the woman in the niqab, although that was not caught on video.
“I have nothing against anyone, all I ask is people live and let live,” Landau said in recalling the encounter. “The problem is these people were attacking essentially a girl who did nothing, simply because she was wearing her religion.”
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf released a statement saying the company “is fully committed to ensuring the wellness and safety of its customers, team members, and business. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discrimination of any kind, and have the right to refuse service to any person who makes customers or team members feel endangered in any way.”