A manager-in-training at a Taco Bell in Bridgeton, Missouri, was caught on camera making hateful, Islamophobic comments at a man who had come to the 12420 Street Charles Rock Road restaurant to break his Ramadan fast.
The video went viral after Tarek Hamdan, the man in question, posted it on his Twitter page with the caption, "Around 1 am after a busy day at work & not being able to eat from a long day of fasting for #Ramadan, I went to @tacobell to buy some food for suhoor (pre-dawn meal/breakfast) but, ended up having a 25 minute debate with this worker who insisted ALL Muslims are terrorists [sic]."
The verbal confrontation begins after the woman asks Hamdan why he had ordered $50 worth of food and he explains that he was Muslim and had not eaten all day because he was fasting for Ramadan — the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset.
As she makes assumptions and spews stereotypes, Hamdan tries to explain that the ones she's speaking about are "monsters" and not true proponents of his faith. She angrily responds to his argument and says, "Until you call me and change my mind, Muslim motherf**kers can suck my d**k."
"They [Muslims] tore down my country, they killed thousands of my people, so you need to change my mind," she continues. "You need to cater to me. I’m not going to cater to you, 'cause this is on my territory."
When Hamdan tries to once again calmly explain his position and says, "But I'm American, just like you," the woman asks if he thinks women should "bow down" to men. She brushes off Hamdan's answer that women have equal rights as men by saying "That's not Muslim."
As he tries to press home his point by telling her "Whatever religion you're thinking Muslim is in your head is not what you believe," she tries to hurry him through the drive-thru lane and tells him she would love to talk to him over the phone before closing the window.
Management at the store has confirmed that the woman, who has not been identified, has been fired post the incident. "We welcome everyone in our restaurants and do not tolerate this type of behavior," a statement from a spokesperson for the store read. "This is a franchise location and the team member involved no longer works for this franchise. The franchise has reached out to the customer to apologize."
Faizan Syed, who is the executive director of the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), insisted the firing of the woman was not enough and that Taco Bell was taking the easy way out. "Taco Bell does not appreciate the seriousness of this situation," he told KMOV4. "Just firing the lady is a cop-out, an easy way to sweep the issue under the rug."
Syed said he instead wants the company to offer the woman and its other workers cultural competency training. "I would want her to know we did not want her to get fired," he said. "We want her to get educated."
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