On June 22, 2016, the Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach responded to a fraudulent lawsuit filed by seven Muslim women claiming religious discrimination by countersuing the women and alleging abuse of process. The countersuit was filed by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national public interest law firm retained by Urth Caffe.
David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:
“This lawsuit claiming religious discrimination is a fraud and a hoax on the courts and the media. It is nothing short of an abuse of process to extort public apologies and other accommodations from my client, Urth Caffe.”
Yerushalmi went on to explain:
“The 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 was 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 countersuit, which was filed under oath as a verified cross-complaint, demonstrates that the seven women now claiming victim status were in fact the aggressors and guilty of trespass.
“This lawsuit is nothing short of an abuse of process. Several key facts demonstrate the contrived and abusive nature of the women’s claims. First, one of two owners who manage the Urth Caffe is herself a Muslim woman. Jilla Berkman, a co-owner of the Urth Caffe with her husband, was the one who actually authorized the call to the police after the women now claiming victim-status were loud and abusive to the Urth Caffe employees and refused to give up their table per the stated policy. Second, the lead plaintiff in the frivolous lawsuit is Sara Farsakh, a college-age activist for Palestinian causes who self-promotes her involvement in radical organizations, at least one of which calls for the destruction of Israel. Third, the organization behind the scenes organizing this fraudulent lawsuit is CAIR, or the Counsel on American-Islamic Relations.”
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.”
“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 is 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.”
AFLC has a history of successfully defending law-abiding Americans and American businesses against CAIR-induced lawsuits and represents five former CAIR clients, three of whom are Muslim, suing CAIR in federal court in the District of Columbia for fraud. Just recently, a federal court in Florida 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 case will be no different.”