/  07.08.2020

A Muslim woman has filed a discrimination charge against Target after a Starbucks employee at a Minnesota store wrote “ISIS” on her drink instead of her name. According to CNN, 19-year-old Aishah is being represented by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, while filed the charge against the retail company on Monday (July 6).

Aishah told the news source the incident happened on July 1. She claims she repeated her name to the barista several times while placing her order. However, when she received the drink, her name was written as “ISIS,” an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist group.

“The moment I saw it, I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotions,” she said. “I felt belittled and so humiliated. This is a word that shatters the Muslim reputation all over the world. I cannot believe that in this day and age, something like this can be considered acceptable. It isn’t okay.”

Aishah requested to speak with the barista’s supervisor, but told CNN her “concerns were dismissed.” In the discrimination charge filing, the employee claimed that she hadn’t heard Aishah’s name correctly.

“When she asked for my name, I slowly repeated it multiple times,” Aishah said. “There is absolutely no way she could have heard it as ISIS. Aishah is not an unknown name and I repeated it multiple times.”

Furthermore, Aishah said that she was escorted from the premises after speaking with the supervisor and receiving a $25 Starbucks gift card. The supervisor also said that it was a case of the employee mishearing Aishah’s name, CNN reports.

Due to the incident, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is now calling for the firing of the two Starbucks employees involved. Aishah also submitted a formal complaint to Target. In a statement to CNN, a company spokesperson called the event an “unfortunate mistake.”

“[Target wants] everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form,” the statement read. “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.”

Council on American-Islamic Relations Executive Director Jaylani Hussein told CNN that referring to someone who is Muslim as a member of ISIS is “perhaps the most Islamophobic statement you can make towards a Muslim.” 

“The statement that came out from Target is just unfortunate,” Hussein said. “Now we know this is a bigger issue than a simple misunderstanding, because the entire corporation is apologizing for Islamophobia without taking action.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has also called on Target to launch a more extensive investigation that involves Aishah and “to train their employees on Islamophobia and bigotry.”

Starbucks has not publicly commented on the incident.


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