Starbucks barista accused of writing man's name as 'ISIS' instead of 'Aziz'
A Starbucks barista has been accused of writing 'ISIS' on a man's drink order, instead of the name he actually gave, 'Aziz', the Washington Post reported last Friday.
Niquel Johnson ordered three drinks in a Philadelphia store on August 25 and was then asked his name by the barista taking the order. Johnson, 40, gave the barista his Islamic name pronounced 'ah-zeez'. It was a name he had used for 25 years and "countless" times at that particular branch, but this time around, an employee allegedly spelled out the name of the terrorist organization.
"I was shocked and angry. I felt it was discrimination," Johnson told The Washington Post.
It was a friend of Johnson who pointed out the acronym written on his coffee cup later at a bookstore.
Four days later, the story was being shared on social media and gained even more traction when a reporter tweeted about the alleged encounter. It was then that Starbucks called Johnson and claimed that they had spoken with his "niece", called Alora, and subsequently, the issue had been resolved. Johnson later said he doesn't know an 'Alora'.
Johnson is considering legal action, he told the Washington Post. "I feel like they’re not taking it seriously as it is," he said.
Remember when two black men were arrested at a different Philadelphia Starbucks all because they were sitting down not ordering anything:
In a statement provided to Fox News, a spokesperson or Starbucks clarified that they did not believe the encounter was an instance of prejudice:
"After investigating, we don't believe this was a case of discrimination or profiling. The customer approached and provided the name Aziz. The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly. We have connected with Mr Johnson and apologized for this regrettable mistake."
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) Philadelphia chapter gave a statement on Friday in which they questioned whether the incident was "an innocent mistake or a sick joke," and referred to Starbucks' behaviour in the matter as "exceedingly deficient."
"Mr Aziz has the constitutional right and privilege to wear traditional Muslim garb in compliance with the dictates of his Islamic faith without harassment or fear of retribution, or further bigoted behaviour," Timothy Welbeck, a CAIR staff attorney, wrote in a letter to Starbucks.