A restaurant in France is at the center of a racist controversy after the owner refused to serve two Muslim women wearing hijabs, Al Jazeera reported on Monday. The incident occurred on Saturday night at Le Cenacle—a Michelin-starred eatery located in Tremblay-en-France, a northeastern suburb of Paris—and has social media in an uproar after footage of the Islamophobic rant leaked online.
Throughout the course of the 84-second clip, a man's voice—reportedly belonging to the owner—can be heard berating the women and telling them to "get out" of his restaurant.
"Madam, the terrorists are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists,” the owner can be heard saying. “This sentence says it all, analyze it."
"We are in a secular country, and I have a right to an opinion,” he adds. “People like you, I don't want them here. Period."
Though their faces cannot be seen in the clip, the women appear to remain calm, and refuse to engage the man on his Islamophic logic. "I don't need to analyze rubbish," one of the woman shoots back.
Following the argument, members of the local Muslim community turned up outside Le Cenacle and demanded an explanation, according to Le Parisien. The owner apologized, and explaining that he had lost a friend at Le Bataclan—the Parisian nightclub where three gunmen opened fire at a concert in November, killing 90 people and injuring countless others.
Still, the owner's apology hasn't quelled the controversy. In the days following the incident, the restaurant's Facebook page has been inundated with angry messages, and the hashtag #Cenacle began trending on Twitter.
"I will never eat here in my life and will never recommend this place to anyone. Hopefully this trash gets shut down soon,” one customer wrote on Facebook. “Racism is one of the things that is ruining this world and if you eat here you're fueling it."
The hijab has been a point of controversy in France for decades. More than 10 years ago, the country passed its first law banning young women from wearing veils in public schools, and more recently certain towns have attempted to prohibit burkinis on beaches.