Thai cafe owners and bar owners are facing lawsuits in Alberta after they refused to serve customers because of the presence of a Muslim man wearing a Muslim headscarf.
The Calgary-based owners of Cafe Tacuba and Cafe Lurcat both filed lawsuits Tuesday against the Alberta Muslim Association, claiming they were discriminated against by the association’s president, Rafiq Muhayed, for allegedly discriminating against Muslims.
The lawsuit alleges the group is “firmly committed to the tenets of Islam and is not tolerant of non-Muslims,” and claims the association is “unable to recognize that the majority of Muslims in Alberta are peaceful.”
Muhaysan is also a member of the Calgary Muslim Association.
According to a press release, the lawsuit claims that Muhayed and his family members are discriminated against because of their religion and that Mihaysan and his brother have refused to accommodate any other Muslim in their restaurant and bar.
The complaint says that while the restaurant owners are Muslim, their owner has denied Muhayan’s request to serve Muslim customers.
Muhaid is also the president of the Alberta Muslims Association, and his members hold “significant political, social and business leadership roles in Alberta,” the statement said.
Mihayed said in an email to the Calgary Herald that the lawsuit is not related to his employment with the group, and that he has not been involved in the legal process.
“I am the president and founder of the Muslim Association of Calgary,” Muhaim told the Calgary Sun in a phone interview.
“This is not a matter of my employment.”
Mihaim said that the association has no comment on the lawsuit.
Moktaan, who declined to speak with the Herald on Tuesday, said he is “not surprised” by the lawsuit, and he doesn’t think it will change the way he conducts his business.
“If the mosque doesn’t like something, I don’t care,” he said.
“You cannot tell them how to conduct their business.”
He said the group has no problem accommodating Muslim patrons, as long as they respect the community’s customs and traditions.
“We do not want to discriminate on the basis of religion,” he told the Herald.
“The only thing we want to do is to respect the customs and customs of everyone in our community.”