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CAIR-MN condemns Islamophobic incident at Midway Target Starbucks, calls for employees to be fired

CAIR-MN condemns Islamophobic incident at Midway Target Starbucks, calls for employees to be fired Photo: CAIR-MN.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: July 06, 2020 01:21 PM
Created: July 06, 2020 09:48 AM

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) is calling for employees to be fired after an Islamophobic incident at a Target Starbucks in St. Paul.

According to CAIR-MN, the incident occurred at the Midway Starbucks, which is located inside a Target store and operated by Target.

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The customer, who is Muslim, said when she ordered beverages at the Starbucks on the night of July 1, the employee wrote "ISIS" on the cup instead of her name. The customer's name is Aishah.

When she asked the employee and a supervisor about it, the supervisor allegedly said it was a mistake and that it sometimes happens with customers' names. Target told KSTP both employees did apologize to the customer. CAIR added that after Aishah left the store, Target gave a new drink and a $25 gift card for Aishah to the friend she was with at the time.

CAIR is calling for the involved employees to be fired.

"I felt humiliated, I felt enraged, I felt belittled," Aishah said. "Starbucks and Target have had other similar incidents and yet no change. This has happened to me and I fear that this will continue to happen to other Muslims because Starbucks and Target do not value Muslims."

CAIR said if the employee was unsure, the employee should've just asked for a spelling, which CAIR believes is the normal practice at Starbucks.

The organization also noted that this isn't the first incident like this and isn't the first time ISIS has been written on Muslim customers' cups, particularly at Starbucks and Target. CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein noted Aishah was wearing a hijab when the incident occurred.

CAIR said it plans to exercise all options and will file discrimination charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. They'll also consider possibly protesting at Target and Starbucks locations.

"Unfortunately, these types of incidents have been happening too far, too long," Hussein said. 

Target issued the following statement to KSTP Monday morning:

"At Target, we want everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form. 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. 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."

You can watch CAIR-MN's full press conference from Monday below.


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