Coffee shop boss faces death threats over ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign outside Brick Lane cafe
From the London Evening Standard
A coffee shop owner today vowed he would not back down after receiving death threats for displaying a “Je suis Charlie” sign outside his cafe.
Adel Defilaux, a French-born Muslim, was terrified when a man stormed into The Antishop in Brick Lane, East London, at 9.30am yesterday. The intruder demanded that Mr Defilaux take down the sandwich board featuring the slogan that has become a rallying cry in support of the 12 victims of Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.But when Mr Defilaux, 32, calmly protested the man became aggressive and warned that anyone who supported the French satirical magazine should die.
He said: “He came in very aggressively and he told me to remove the sign. I asked him why and he said his community was offended by it and said if I didn’t remove it something bad was going to happen. I told him I was Muslim myself and I wanted to talk gently with him and I said people can’t kill journalists for expressing themselves. I calmly explained to him that what he was saying was not the reality of Islam. I thought I could calm him down, but it had the opposite effect. He went crazy. He said ‘I believe these people deserve to be killed and anyone supporting them deserves also to be killed’.
“I was all alone and started getting scared. He was a dangerous person. He said if I didn’t take down the sign he would smash up the shop, and then he just left.”
Mr Defilaux described the man who made the threats as Asian, in his 30s, and wearing a grey sweater and scarf and blue jeans. He said he would not give in to the threat and would continue to display the sign in the café, where he offers barista training and free coffees to the homeless. Police were today watching CCTV footage taken from a camera in the cafe as they launched an inquiry to trace the intruder.