Muslim Man Receives Take-Out Burger in 'Happy September 11th' Container


[Photograph: @OKGhalayini]

On September 11, Yelp user Tarek G.'s take-out burger from Petrol Station in Houston came with a shocking surprise: a container with an illustration that said "Happy September 11th" and showed a plane flying towards the Twin Towers. In his Yelp review, he describes what happened after he received his food:

Today is September 11th - and personally I don't think it's a nice way to honor the nearly 3,000 people who died that day 10 years ago. I said as much to the bartender, and asked him to please take the burger away and give me a refund. He sort of scoffed and proceeded to speak with his manager, and within earshot, called my friend and I "assholes" for complaining about what he clearly thought was funny. To be fair, the manager came over and provided me with a refund, but no apology or explanation. A bit stunned, we finished our beers and left it at that. Before leaving, I asked to get in touch with the owner so that I could voice my concerns - the manager asked me to leave my information, at the same time confessing that the "joke was f&$cked up". I did - and explained to him that I wasn't trying to cause a scene, but that as a person who worked near WTC that day I found it incredibly offensive. Still no apology or interest in finding out who was behind it. I left, frustrated that something so simple could not be resolved or even discussed with the very people who should want to understand why it was offensive.

As I walked out, I heard from behind the bar "Allahu Akbar..." repeated several times. Now maybe it's bad luck for them that I happened to be working near WTC and that I also happen to be a muslim (admittedly not the best muslim) - but as an American first and foremost, I find that kind of cavalier attitude offensive at best, and when coupled with the fact that it was coming from a service provider, prejudiced and anti-American at worst.

Petrol Station's owner Ben Fullelove met up with Tarek G. to apologize and fired the employee responsible for the drawing the next day. Tarek G.'s addendum to his review:

I wanted to update this - I was able to speak to the owner and have a good conversation about my experience at Petrol. He assured me the person(s) responsible will be terminated and the underlying issues will be addressed in short order. He sounded sincere and I appreciated his swift response once he was notified of the issues by the local community. For my part, I am looking forward to putting this to rest - I suppose only time will tell if the changes stick. I'm hopeful they will.

[via Eater Houston]

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