French restaurateur says "all Muslims are terrorists," gets dragged by internet
Note to restaurants: Islamaphobia is not good for business.
After a restaurant owner in France refused to serve two Muslim women on Friday night, the Internet dragged it by leaving bad reviews on the restaurant's Facebook page. As of this article's publication, more than 23,000 people have allotted the restaurant one star out of five stars on Facebook.
It all started when Jean-Baptiste Devreux, a Parisian chef who owns Le Cénacle, made Islamaphobic comments to two Muslim women wearing veils and refused to serve them, Munchies reported.
Located in the French suburb of Tremblay, the eatery is a Michelin-selected restaurant — but its high class reputation didn't stop Devreux from having an unsavory attitude that one of the two women caught on camera.
In a video uploaded to Twitter by one of the women, the restauranteur refused to serve the women and said, "All Muslims are terrorists." Devreaux continued, saying "I don't want people like you here. Full stop."
When one of the women called him a racist, he responded, "Racists like me don't kill people." You can watch the full video with subtitles below.
In a follow-up tweet to the video posted on Twitter, user GuedGued was unsure which was worse: the chef's comments, the indifference of other restaurant patrons or the idea that racism is an opinion.
Racism isn't an opinion — and French authorities took notice. Devreux is now being investigated for racial discrimination, Le Parisien reported. Devreux told an investigator, "I blew a fuse and I'm sorry," and blamed his actions on his grief after a friend died during the series of attacks at the Bataclan, the concert venue in Paris, in November 2015.
The Committee Against Islamaphobia in France, known as CCIF issued a statement saying it would provide support and legal services for the women, Al Jazeera reported.
Folks took to the internet to express their outrage. Take a look at some of the comments left on Le Cénacle's Facebook page.
One commenter urged others to take down the restaurant on Trip Advisor, too.
In a written testimony posted by CCIF, one of the women, Sarah, recounted the incident and expressed her hope that justice will prevail and will send a clear message to those who think it is acceptable to attack other citizens based on their religion or ethnicity. She also thanked the outpouring of support on the Internet, noting the comments have helped her break away from hateful reactions that "increase our anxiety" and "impacts us all on a daily basis." note
The restaurant racism at Le Cénacle comes on the heels of a huge outcry over Muslim swimwear this summer. Burkinis, modest swimwear often worn by conservative Muslim women, have been banned in many beach towns in the south of France. And even though France's highest court ruled that the bans are illegal on Monday, 28 of the 30 town mayors refuse to lift the bans.
With frequent clashes over Islamaphobia this month, the CCIF has its work cut out for it. Here's hoping restaurants and beaches become safer spaces for all in the coming months.