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Texans sit in silence as Muslim women face racism at Austin cafe: ‘Have the humanity to acknowledge it’

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Two Austin women said over the weekend that they had experienced anti-Muslim hate speech at a local cafe, and that other customers sat in silence as they were “humiliated.”

KTBC reported that the two Muslim women, Leilah Abdennabi and Sirat Al-Nahi, said that they had hoped to enjoy Sunday lunch at Austin’s popular Kerbey Lane Cafe.

“My friend and I just experienced Islamophobia in Austin,” Abdennabi wrote in a Sunday Facebook posting. “This is the first time this has happened to me in Austin.”

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READ: Trump floats immediate end to Muslim immigration until we ‘can figure out what is going on’

Leilah, a Chicago-born Palestinian-American, explained that she found her friend “crying and upset” inside the restaurant.

“Apparently while I was parking some man next to her said somethings about my driving and that I should just go back to Saudi Arabia’,” she wrote.

The man went on to ask if Al-Nahi “had a gun” and then said that she should “just shoot him,” the women recalled.

“I literally couldn’t believe he said that and I asked him to repeat what he had just said,” Al-Nahi added in a separate Facebook post. “I couldn’t believe what he said and I guess I hoped someone would have the humanity to acknowledge it because their silence hurt just as much as his words.”

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The women said that the restaurant’s host eventually made a “pathetic attempt to deescalate the situation” by seating the man, but the damage had been done.

“They chose to seat the racist guy who just made a girl cry right in from them, rather than us,” Al-Nahi wrote. “When we spoke to management, they basically said they were sorry it happened, but they can’t do anything.”

Abdennabi said that the pair decided to leave because they no longer felt welcome.

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“As we were leaving I told the people watching ‘Just so you know, we were told racist things and this restaurant doesn’t feel the need to address it because who cares about us?'” she noted. “Another white guy shouted ‘Nobody.'”

“We left,” Al-Nahi added. “Because it was true.”

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“No one else said or did anything,” Abdennabi pointed out. “[A]nd that’s what makes these experiences 1000x worse is the people just silently watching.”

In a statement, Kerbey Lane Cafe said that it had apologized to Abdennabi and Al-Nahi.

“We do not condone discriminatory comments or behavior in any way, shape, or form; and according to our policy the guest who made these hateful comments to another guest should have been asked to leave our restaurant,” the statement said. “This was a mistake made by our management, and we are addressing it with that individual. For anyone who has any concerns about Kerbey Lane’s policies, please contact us directly at or [email protected]

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2020 Election

We are witnessing the birth of a movement — and the downfall of a president

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They almost always begin to right wrongs: illegitimate wars; decades of discrimination on the grounds of gender or racial or sexual identity; killings of innocents by police or gun-toting lunatics; oppression by governments wielding unequal laws; the deeply embedded legacy of centuries of racism.

This article first appeared in Salon.

They are imperfect. Arising out of rage, they can be unfocused, inchoate, contradictory. Protesting violence, they often involve violence. Protesting oppression, they sometimes oppress by destroying public spaces, small businesses, even entire neighborhoods.

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Susan Collins skipped Trump’s visit to Maine after president threatened colleague Lisa Murkowski

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Protesters were expected to meet President Donald Trump on his Friday afternoon visit to Maine, but Senator Susan Collins, caught in the middle of a hotly contested re-election race this fall, did not.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Instead, the embattled Republican senator will be in Washington, where she has "several federal and non-federal events on her schedule," a Collins spokeswoman told NBC News.

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2020 Election

HBO’s Maher taunts Trump fans over president hiding in a bunker from protesters: ‘Is America great enough for you yet?’

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