Another CAIR-Inspired Lawsuit Dismissed: Muslim Women to Dismiss Lawsuit Against Urth Caffe

Soondus Ahmed, one of seven Muslim women who claims staff at Urth Caffé in Laguna Beach had police remove her group from the eatery on April 22nd not, as the restaurant claims, for overstaying, but because many in the group were wearing hijabs, speaks outside of the Orange County Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Tuesday. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: LB.Urth.0504 - 5/3/16 - PHOTO BY JOSHUA SUDOCK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER - Seven Muslim women and their attorneys held a joint press conference outside of the Orange County Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Tuesday. The women claim they were asked to leave Urth Caffé in Laguna Beach on April 22nd because they were wearing hijabs, traditional headwear. The group is filing a discrimination lawsuit against the restaurant and are seeking punitive damages. The restaurant claims the women had been squatting on a table for several hours -- in violation of a policy posted on signs around the eatery. The women claim they'd only been in the place for, roughly, an hour and point out that the duration rules indicate that they would only be enforced if the restaurant was busy, and that there were actually many empty tables on the evening in question. They also claim that other patrons had been there longer and were not asked to leave. Picture made outside of the Orange County Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, California on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.Los Angeles, California (June 18, 2018) – Seven Muslim women, who claimed in a lawsuit filed in May 2016 that Urth Caffe had discriminated against them by enforcing a 45-minute seating policy, have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit.  Urth Caffe will pay no money to the women or their attorneys.  The seven women claimed in their lawsuit that they were subjected to religious discrimination when the Urth Caffe staff asked them to leave after the women refused to abide by the café’s seating policy.  The women later made the fraudulent claim that they were evicted from the café because they wore hijabs—Islamic head coverings worn by some Muslim women.

Urth Caffe turned to the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national public interest law firm, to represent them.  AFLC immediately filed a cross-claim for trespass.  The Superior Court of Orange County, where the lawsuit was filed, refused to dismiss Urth Caffe’s trespass crossclaim ruling that the facts as alleged by Urth Caffe made out a valid claim that the seven women disrupted the Laguna Beach café’s operations the night of April 22, 2016, and that their refusal to abide by the seating policy followed by their refusal to leave the café when asked violated Urth Caffe’s property rights.

During the discovery period, the evidence demonstrated that Urth Caffe, and especially its Laguna Beach café, is a very popular spot for young Muslims to enjoy organic, heirloom coffee and delicious meals and desserts.  A very large percentage of its customer base are Muslims, many of whom wear hijabs.  The evidence, mostly in the form of video security tape, proved there was no discrimination against the seven women, or anyone else for that matter.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:

“This lawsuit was a fraud and a hoax from the get-go.  After two years of litigation and after Plaintiffs’ leftist/progressive lawyers, including the ACLU, spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to force a huge financial payoff for themselves and their clients at Urth Caffe’s expense, they have received no money whatsoever and have effectively dropped their claims only to run for the hills.”

Yerushalmi went on to explain:

“Urth Caffe did not discriminate against the women who have filed this fraudulent lawsuit.  The claim that these women were asked to leave the café because they were wearing hijabs is laughable.  That night, as every Friday night, a large number of young people, including a majority of whom are Muslim and of Arab descent, make up the base of Urth Caffe’s customers.  Not surprisingly, many of these customers are women wearing hijabs.  None of these other Muslim women were asked to leave.  The women who now claim victim status were not asked to leave, but only to abide by the café’s policy to give up their high-demand outside patio table after 45 minutes to allow other customers, including those wearing hijabs, to enjoy the experience.”

The seven litigious Muslim women, all in their 20s and 30s, turned for legal advice to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group.  The women are Sara Khalil Farsakh (of Corona, California), Soondus Ahmed (of Lake Forest, California), Sara Soumaya Chamma (of Irvine, California), Yumna H. Hameed (of San Juan Capistrano, California), Safa Rawag (of Sunnyvale, California), Safa Rawag’s sister, Marwa Rawag, and Rawan Hamdan (of Amman, Jordan).

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, explained:

“CAIR, currently named a terrorist organization by the UAE, was previously named as an unindicted co-conspirator and Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the successful prosecution of a terrorist funding cell organized around one of the largest Muslim charities, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF).  HLF raised funds for violent jihad on behalf of Hamas, and top CAIR officials were part of the conspiracy.”

Muise added,

“It is not surprising that the FBI has publicly terminated its outreach activities with CAIR.  Moreover, this fraudulent lawsuit is what the Muslim Brotherhood itself describes as ‘civilization jihad.’  In other words, this lawsuit was being waged to use our anti-discrimination laws not for equal protection, but to attain special protection and rights for sharia-adherent Muslims who reject America and the Judeo-Christian values it stands for.”

Yerushalmi added:

“The sad and destructive element of this fraudulent lawsuit is that one of the two co-owners/-managers of Urth Caffe, Jilla Berkman, herself a Muslim woman, had reached out to the women by Facebook after the discrimination allegations went viral but well before the filing of the lawsuit and offered to sit down with the seven women face-to-face to work out any misunderstandings.  Instead, the women turned to CAIR, who in turn directed the women to a small band of hard-core progressive lawyers.  These lawyers badly miscalculated and filed the lawsuit.  At the end of the day, and after two long years of litigation, the evidence proved there was no discrimination and Urth Caffe agreed to do what they would have done without a lawsuit: make the seating policy clearer to customers and to staff, and continue to provide a welcome environment for all its guests, including its Muslim customers.  Let this be a lesson to all others.  If you use lawfare as your jihad against an AFLC client, be prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars and to get nothing in return!”

AFLC has a history of successfully defending law-abiding Americans and American businesses against CAIR-induced lawsuits.  Just recently, a federal court dismissed a CAIR lawsuit against a gun store owner in Florida and a court in Michigan ordered a CAIR client to pay thousands of dollars in sanctions for issuing abusive subpoenas.  This dismissal marks another AFLC victory against CAIR and the bad guys (and gals) that would do their bidding.