by Hugh Fitzgerald
In Minnesota, at a Starbucks inside a Target store, a Muslim woman ordered a coffee. When it was delivered to her, she saw written on the plastic cup the name “Isis.” She was enraged. CAIR came to her rescue. All hell broke loose. The story is here.
On Wednesday, a Muslim woman found the name “ISIS” on her Starbucks drink at a Target store in St. Paul. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for firings, new staff training, and potential protests.
Standing at a podium in front of a poster reading “Justice for Floyd,” a Muslim woman who found the word “ISIS” written on her Starbucks cup said she felt “humiliated” and “enraged.”
The podium was provided by CAIR, as was the prominently-placed “Justice for Floyd” poster, a telling example of how CAIR wants to win support for itself by appropriating the BLM themes.
The incident occurred on July 1 when Aishah, who declined to give her last name out of concerns for her safety, ordered a drink at Starbucks operated by the Midway Target store in St. Paul on her way to her job as a home care worker.
As soon as she started telling the Target employee her first name, she said, the barista wrote something on a clear plastic drinking cup. When the Muslim woman received her drink, she found “ISIS” written on the cup.
“When I first received the drink I was in shock,” Aishah, who wears the hijab, said at a press conference Monday morning at the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’s offices in Minneapolis. “I felt humiliated, I felt enraged, I felt belittled.”
“I was in in shock”? “I felt humiliated, I felt enraged, I felt belittled”? This is such a crazed over-the-top reaction that makes one wonder about this woman’s mental equilibrium. Why such a reaction? She should have seen that an innocent mistake was made. She herself said that just as soon as she started telling the Target employee her first name, the barista wrote something on a clear plastic drinking cup. In other words, the barista did not wait to hear the customer’s complete name, but wrote what she thought was the name after hearing only the first syllable. That is how she could have heard “Eye”and without waiting for the second syllable, “shah” (Eye-Shah, or Aishah) wrote “Isis” (Eye-Sis) – a name with which she might well have been familiar, if she is of Hispanic background, for the name is much more popular in Latin America than in the U.S. If the barista turns out to have been Hispanic – we’ve heard nothing about her save that she is 16 — that would help explain her error.
CAIR-MN pointed to Aishah’s covering as a cue for the alleged discriminatory behavior, adding that Aishah is a common and familiar name in America.
First of all, there was no “discriminatory behavior.” What did the barista do that “discriminated” against the customer? Nothing. A mistake in hearing led to a mistake in writing the customer’s name — that does not constitute discrimination. As for CAIR’s claim that “Aishah is a common and familiar name in America” and therefore there is no excuse for this 16-year-old not to have properly understood it, that claim is false. For each of the past 30 years, the name “Aishah” has never been given to more than 400 newborn girls in the U.S. Since 1880 – that is, in the past 140 years — a grand total of 17,936 girls have been given the name “Aisha” or “Aishah” in the U.S. That hardly makes it a “common and familiar name.”
When Aishah, a 19-year-old college student who lives in Minneapolis, complained to the barista, she said, a Target manager on the scene sided with the employee, stating, “What is the issue?”
Indeed, what is the issue? Mountains out of molehills, over-the-top hysteria about this most minor and understandable of mistakes.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for the firing of the Target Starbucks employee who wrote “Isis” on the cup of a Muslim customer.
This is probably the first job this 16-year-old has ever had. Should she be summarily fired for having misheard a customer’s name, just because that customer then has a quite intolerable fit over its being misheard and, therefore, incorrectly written? Does CAIR care about the effect – the real humiliation – that this girl will feel if fired so unjustly, for mishearing a name, from her first job? There is not the slightest evidence, none, that the Starbucks employee knew the political significance of the word “Isis.” The name “Isis” is a recognized woman’s name, particularly popular in Latin countries — Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil.
In a statement to Sahan Journal, Target has apologized for the incident which it called an “unfortunate mistake.”
“We are very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation,” the statement said. “We have investigated the matter and believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with a simple clarification. We’re taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again.”
Of course it was, as Target says, “an unfortunate mistake,“ and a perfectly understandable one, given the first syllables of “Aishah” and “Isis.” Only the most malignant would refuse to recognize this.
According to CAIR-MN, Aishah complained to the manager, and, failing to get satisfaction, filed a formal complaint with Target. As of midday Monday, CAIR-MN stated, Target had yet to respond directly to Aishah or ask for her account of the transaction.
My, my. She complained to the manager, but “failed to get satisfaction.” The manager offered an explanation for the mistake, and an apology. What more did she want? She wanted the barista to be fired on the spot. And since he stood by his employee, she wanted the store manager to be fired as well. By the time she – and CAIR— are done with this business, perhaps they’ll organize protests at Target stores all over the land.
“I felt a lot of emotions because we’re at a time when people are protesting injustice all over,” Aishah said in an interview with Sahan Journal. She’s participated in Black Lives Matter protests after the deaths of Philando Castile and George Floyd. “All these protests and all these people who are using their voice for a change. To me, it felt like in that moment, we’re doing all of this for people who don’t even care, or who are going to look the other way.”
Of course: let’s put on the same level the wrongful killings of black men by police with a 16-year-old barista’s writing a wrong – because misheard — name on a plastic cup. Both are equivalent outrages that call to the high heavens for justice. Just ask Aishah, and CAIR.
Aishah said she wanted a true apology: firing both the barista and manager, a thorough vetting of employees, and an in-depth training for employees rather than a one-time workshop.
Why did the manager’s apology, or that coming from Target itself, not constitute “true apologies”? Is she suggesting they didn’t really mean it? On what basis? And why should either the barista or the manager be fired, if it was an obvious innocent mistake? This “vetting of employees” that the outraged Aisha demands – what does that mean? A thorough examination of the views of employees, to make sure they do not harbor the slightest conceivable doubts about the sheer wonderfulness of Muslims and of Islam itself? But if they do harbor such doubts, they should be fired to satisfy the “enraged and humiliated” Aisha. All Target employees should be subject to “an-depth training” about Muslims and Islam that would “re-educate” them. And who would give that “in-depth training”? Why, Muslims themselves. What a clever way to expand job opportunities — for Muslims only — all over this land.
In a Target statement cited by CAIR-MN, the store described the “ISIS” incident as an accident, adding that the barista “has never heard of ISIS.”
ISIS, an acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is a terrorist group that is active in Iraq and Syria.
In response to the situation, CAIR-MN has demanded an investigation, improved employee training and the firing of Target staff involved in the “horrible incident,” which the organization described as “Islamophobia.”
Alec Shaw, a civil rights attorney for CAIR-MN, cited a recent statement from Target CEO Brian Cornell professing Target’s “commitment to stand against racism. We call on Cornell to make the same commitment to stand against Islamophobia.”
CAIR calls this 16-year-old’s understandable aural error a “horrible incident” revealing her “Islamophobia.” And the store manager’s explaining that it was a mistake, rather than denouncing his employee, is described as a further example of “Islamophobia.” For where Muslims are concerned, there is never the possibility of innocent human error by Infidels; anything that disturbs Muslims must always reflect some malignant anti-Muslim feeling, that needs to be identified and punished…or else.
Shaw added that the organization would look into all legal remedies, starting with the filing of a complaint through the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, as soon as Monday afternoon.
Unless the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has gone off the deep end, it will find that complaint completely without merit. One hopes the barista herself will testify, explaining the aural error that led her to write, in her hasty transcription, “Isis” for “Aishah.” And it will be good to have her explain that she had no idea what “Isis” was, anything other than a girl’s name.
Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, said that the group would not immediately call for a boycott of Target. But he suggested protests in front of the store would be likely if Target’s response did not change.
This is blackmail: “we will protest outside your store unless you do as we demand.” Fire the barista. Fire the manager who stood by his employee. Cravenly apologize to Aishah and to Muslims everywhere. Institute a program of vetting Target employees throughout the country, to ensure that none harbor any “Islamophobic” thoughts, and finally, have all employees undergo “in-depth training” to make sure they understand the real, peaceful, tolerant Islam, so that none of them will ever again humiliate or anger Muslim customers, in the way that happened so horribly to poor Aishah.
So many possibilities now suggest themselves.
Couldn’t a CAIR-rehearsed Muslimah in the future give her name as “Isis” to a barista, who would then write it on her cup, and then, once it is delivered to the Muslim customer, she “finds” the name “Isis,” makes a huge show of outrage/grief/humiliation/despair. “So that’s what you think of when you see a Muslim? A terrorist organization?” And denies, of course, that she ever gave her name as “Isis.”
Then CAIR’s apparatchiks, who have been waiting for the call, swiftly arrive, and the threat of a lawsuit ensues. It can be avoided, however, if the deep-pocketed coffee chain (like Starbuck’s or Peet’s), or the corporation that owns the stores (like Target) in which this coffee shop is located, decides to make a donation to CAIR sufficient to head off that lawsuit.
Goodness, the possibilities are endless for Muslim money-making. Muslimahs, listen up! Bring a sweater or a dress to a dry cleaner, give your first name as “Isis” and your real Muslim last name. Then when you pick up that sweater or suit, with the attached slip that reads “Isis” Al-Ayoub, or Al-Noor, or Al-Ahlam, or Al-You-Name-It), you can throw a fit, call CAIR to rush over, describe your humiliation, and anguish, and shame, and demand not just an apology, but something more substantial —a payment to you for your mental anguish, or a donation to CAIR for its “in-depth training programs” against Islamophobia — to resolve the matter.
Or a group of Muslims could go to a restaurant where they know there is always waiting for a free table. One member of the group gives the name “Isis” to the person taking reservations. When a table is finally freed up and made ready for them, that person calls out “Isis, party of five.” At that point, by prearrangement, hearing this, all five of them look shocked, bewildered, shamed, humiliated, anguished, despairing — and instead of going to their table, they approach the desk and ask “Excuse us, what did you say?” and they are told “I just called your party – Isis, party of five.” At that point, it’s time to call CAIR, time for demands for an apology, threats of a lawsuit for this “deliberate act of inflicting humiliation and shame on Muslims,” and of picketing of the restaurant for its “Islamophobia.” And then, after the most craven of apologies by the restaurant’s offending employee and his bosses, the possibility of a donation to CAIR will be raised, one that in some small measure may help to atone for the terrible ordeal these five humiliated Muslims had to suffer.
Crazy, you say? I claim it is an all-too-plausible scam, and American businesses need to be forewarned against it, lest the shakedowns succeed.
First published in Jihad Watch.