Louisiana Representative, John Fleming (R), owns a Subway franchise in Shreveport, Louisiana. A New Orleans couple, by the names of Mohammed and Talat Husain, allege that they were refused service at the restaurant because of their religion. Employees deny it and say that security tapes prove there was no discrimination. In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Husain indicated the following:
Husain has a beard and wears a traditional Muslim hat. His wife wears a hijab. He said they initially went to the restaurant bathroom to wash their hands. He washed first and then went back to the car to get his medication while his wife went into the bathroom after him.
When he tried to go back into the restaurant, however, he said an employee stopped him at the door.
“She asked me point blank ‘Are you Muslim?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I’m Muslim.’ She said ‘We can’t serve you’ and locked the door from inside when my wife was still inside the store,” Husain said.
The situation quickly escalated and Husain ended up calling 911. So did a Subway employee. At some point before police arrived, however, Husain said the employee unlocked the door and let his wife leave but also made it clear they should take their business elsewhere.
The officer that arrived on scene apparently thought the situation was nothing, because a report was not filed. In addition, the manager, Mike Toland, is quite confident that they are not at fault. He says the security video has audio (partially obscured by Christmas music) that shows that no religion-inspired conversation ever took place, and that Husain getting kicked out was based purely on his behavior.
Toland will not state, however, what behavior that was. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has contacted Subway, the franchise, and the police to ask questions regarding the incident but has been unable to make any headway. They have also requested an apology, but that request has not been fulfilled at this time.