Ann Corcoran | Refugee Resettlement Watch
This is a classic case about how change happens!
Businesses, eager to prostrate themselves out of fear once confronted by an angry demanding refugee like Hamdia Ahmed, quickly make news by backing down when activists for Muslim immigrant rights cause a stir. The message to the public: be silent.
Even as it is clear, when you do a little reading about Hamdia Ahmed, that she has a pattern of stirring up controversy, her latest stunt in Portland is now being spread widely through gullible national media outlets painting her as innocent as a dove while staring down racist Americans.
Thanks to MaineFirst Media for the tip. (See their more detailed story.)
Here is a story from Wednesday from the Portland Press-Herald which is pretty straight news, but when you read the newer articles at national news outlets you will see that her social justice advocacy and past history of creating controversy has been downplayed or not mentioned at all.
A Dunkin’ Donuts store owner met Wednesday with a Portland college student and activist who called out the business on social media after a store employee refused to serve her Somali-speaking family and then called police following an argument in the drive-thru lane.
Hamdia Ahmed, 20, said she felt that the employee discriminated against her and two relatives for speaking Somali as they waited to order coffee at the St. John Street Dunkin’ Donuts on Monday afternoon.
Ahmed said she and her relatives drove to the coffee shop around 12:30 p.m. and waited for a store employee to ask for their order. As the family chatted in Somali in the car, a woman’s voice crackled through the speaker and admonished them for yelling, Ahmed said.
“All of a sudden we heard a woman say, ‘stop yelling, stop yelling,’ ” Ahmed said “We’re like what’s happening. We’re just having a conversation. We were talking in Somali. She told us she’s not going to take our order and for us to leave and she was going to call the police.”
You know there must be more to the story. Chatting in Somali caused the clerk to refuse them service? Give me a break!
Ahmed, a refugee from Somalia who arrived in the United States more than a dozen years ago, has emerged in recent years as an outspoken anti-racism social justice activist and organizer.
After the argument in the drive-thru lane, Ahmed said she parked her car and went inside the store to speak with someone.
A store employee called Portland police, and after an officer spoke to Ahmed and store employees, the police issued Ahmed a no-trespass notice barring her from returning to the store for a year. The officer listed the cause of the no-trespass notice as “disturbance – yelling at staff.”
I repeat: Ahmed and her family members must have been doing a lot more than chatting in Somali!
The company later issued a statement:
“Dunkin’ and our franchisees are committed to creating a positive customer service experience for all of our guests,” the company’s emailed statement said. “The franchisee who owns and operates the store has confirmed he has met with the guest, sincerely apologized to her for the poor experience and is working on providing additional customer service training to his store crew.”
“I appreciate their apology but what I really wanted to get out of the meeting is I want training for their workers,” Ahmed said. “Because they can’t treat people like that, and the police should have never been called.” [Would that be shariah-compliance training?—ed]
Ahmed, a University of Southern Maine student who has been an outspoken anti-racist activist in Portland who does not shy from public demonstrations and discussions about race, said she felt compelled to speak up and publicize her encounter through social media.
“I can’t just ignore stuff like this because that would mean I’m allowing it to happen,” she said.
Ahmed had a similar encounter in September at an Old Port Starbucks, where she said an employee laughed and rolled her eyes at her when she asked for the employee to check the alcohol content of a vanilla flavoring, News Center Maine (WCSH) reported. Ahmed, who is Muslim, abstains from alcohol.
Starbucks apologized to her after the encounter, a response she said was “adequate.”
If Ahmed thinks her Dunkin’ Donuts publicity stunt will somehow improve relations between immigrants and Mainers she is naive. But, then again, maybe that isn’t her goal at all.
This post is filed in my ‘Stealth Jihad’ category for obvious reasons!
New readers might want to look through my huge Maine archive.