Restaurant owner gets death threats over 'anti-Brexit' messages on receipts
While bringing up Donald Trump in any American circle is enough to send people into a frenzy, across the Atlantic, the British people are just as polarised over the concept of Brexit, where the UK decided to leave the European Union in a highly-debated referendum.
It's a contentious topic, one layered with different socioeconomic connotation for each and every voter, but there's a significant population of people who think that leaving the EU is a bad idea. Branded by their political opponents as 'remoaners', some people are wholly against Brexit, and they're not afraid to say so.
One restaurant has set out their stall definitely on the anti-Brexit side of things, but the London-based restaurateur hasn't quite been met with unanimous praise. Ibrahim Dogus runs the Westminster Kitchen restaurant in central London (and also owns two other locations in the city), and last week, he made a subtle change to his restaurant's receipts.
Now, if you were to eat at his restaurant and pay for your meal, a quick glance to the bottom of the receipt would reveal a message very much in the vain of the typical Londoner (where Brexit was wildly unpopular):"Brexit is bad. Immigrants make Britain great! They also cooked and served your food today."
In a political climate where the very concept of letting foreigners into Western countries is hotly contested, it's sometimes nice to think about the good they can do other people. But Dogus said that the message has not been received in a totally positive manner by all customers.
"We have been targeted by far right groups who are organised on social media and [it seems like they have been] encouraging each other to attack our business by leaving fake reviews on TripAdvisor, Google Business, and Facebook."
"It has been a horrible few days and our staff feel worried about what’s happening," admitted Dogus, saying that people have been leaving threatening messages and even death threats for Dogus.
Some people have even attempted to book a table at Westminster Kitchen using the name Tommy Robinson - the moniker of a far-right activist, who spent time as a political adviser to the UK Independence Party (UKIP), one of the driving forces behind Brexit.
“Our manager, Maliq Konjuhi, said that he is worried that someone will come and physically attack our premises. When they call they are verbally abusive and sound very violent. Each time they call they say they want to book a table under the name of Tommy Robinson and then they start using abusive language."
But despite the threats, Dogus says he intends to keep the receipts the way they are, at least for the next week or so. "The message will stay on the bills until February 1st and then we will replace [it] with a different message," he explained.
In the meantime, Dogus has been advised to contact the London Metropolitan police to ensure that his staff aren't placed in unnecessary danger.