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Restaurant Owner Unapologetic After Posting Sign That Offends Religious Community

A restaurant owner from Lonsdale, Minnesota has defended his decision to put up a sign plastered with the phrase “Muslims get out” on the front door of his restaurant. Following community backlash, the restaurant owner in question, Dan Ruedinger, met with local media outlets, telling journalists that people were misunderstanding his intentions and taking his words “in the wrong way.”

After photographs of the sign were uploaded to local social media pages, an assortment of people – including dozens of members of community groups and religious organizations – gathered around Mr. Ruedinger’s business, Treats Family Restaurant, to protest the anti-Muslim message. By the end of the day, several protestors had attempted to pull down the sign, tearing off a price display board in the process.

In an appearance on Fox News, Mr. Ruedinger attempted to explain why he put up the sign, saying: "I didn’t want to put 'terrorists' on the board."

"So we were going to put 'Muslim extremists', but we didn’t have room on the board…Now, people started taking it the wrong way, thinking we were against Muslims in general, and we’re not,"

"Quite the opposite. We are not racist,” he added.

In another interview with the Lonsdale News-Review, Mr. Ruedinger explained that he first decided to put up the sign when he heard about Dahir Adan, a Somalia-American man, fatally stabbing 8 innocent Americans during a terrorist attack in a shopping mall in St Cloud, Minnesota.

"I’ve had enough and I’m standing up," he said angrily to the Lonsdale News-Review.

“With all the bombs and shootings we’ve had, we’re supposed to welcome refugees here who want to kill us? This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with a religion of hatred that preaches violence.”

“Some Muslims are good people and want a better life,” he continued. “They need to step up, take control and hold the others accountable."

As protestors around the restaurant became more restless, a representative of The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked Mr. Ruedinger if he would be available to talk with prominent Muslim community leaders at a meeting in the Islamic Centre of Faribault.

“Our experience has shown that interaction with ordinary American Muslims and enhanced knowledge of Islam are key factors in the reduction of Islamophobic attitudes,” emphasized Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of Minnesota’s branch of The Council on American-Islamic Relations.

According to ‘The Independent’, Mr. Ruedinger’s attendance at the meeting was cut short when the restaurant owner began yelling that he could not stay “silent” about his son’s military deployment in Iraq.

“It was a short conversation,” said Mr. Hussein. “He did not agree."

"We are here to talk to people; to start a dialogue. We wanted to talk to him about the sign and about issues.”

Although the controversy had died down, the Facebook page for Mr. Ruedinger’s restaurant has been slammed with negative comments and reviews. The majority of these comments target the restaurant owner for displaying unwelcoming and bigoted attitudes towards the Muslim residents of Lonsdale.

One of the first negative reviews to pop up on the page was written by Ferrin Brooks, who said: “This anti American BIGOT hates people of other religions. I wouldn't eat at a hate filled place like this!”

Source: AWM, Independent
Photo: YouTube

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