Taco Bell employee fired after disgusting Islamophobic rant is caught on camera
Tarek Hamdan pulled up at the Taco Bell in Bridgeton, Missouri at 1am and placed an unusual order: $55 worth of fast food. When the manager-in-training asked why he was ordering such a big meal, he said he was starving because he was fasting all day. As a Muslim, he fasts during the holy month of Ramadan, one of the five pillars (or rules) of Islam.
Afterward, the employee engaged Hamdan in a 25-minute debate about his religion. She asserted that all Muslims are terrorists like the members of al-Qaeda that coordinated 9/11 attack, killing nearly 3,000. A remarkably absurd claim, since there are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, roughly 21% of world's population. Yet the employee could not be convinced, declaring, "Until you call me and change my mind, Muslim motherf**kers can suck my d**k."
Watch the Taco Bell employee's Islamophobic rant
Hamdan recorded some of their conversation and uploaded the video on Twitter, writing: "Around 1am after a busy day at work & not being able to eat from a long day of fasting for #Ramadan, I went to @tacobell to buy some food for suhoor (pre-dawn meal/breakfast) but, ended up having a 25 minute debate with this worker who insisted ALL Muslims are terrorists."
In the face of such astonishing ignorance and irrational hatred, Hamdan kept his cool. "I'm an American, just like you," he says in the video. Then he explains that the the extremists are "monsters, those people are disgusting," and thereby do not represent the religion. (One wonders if the employee also makes ridiciulous sweeping generations about Christians when they perpetrate terrorist attacks.)
Unable to comprehend Hamdan's reasonable statements, the employee presses him on the religion's treatment of women: Should women "bow down" to men? Hamdan counters by saying no, "Women have equal rights as men, that's what God says in the book." Once again, she struggles to wrap her head around these thoughts, and does a facepalm in frustration. "That's not Muslim," she falsely states.
Watch a second video of the Islamophobic Taco Bell employee
In a second video uploaded on Twitter, Hamdan demands a refund, because he found the employee's behavior offensive. "I'm a customer, regardless of your views, you shouldn't say what you said," he concludes. "It's still unacceptable, it's still customer service." The woman's baffled boss then intervenes to end the encounter, since their argument is holding up the drive-thru line.
Taco Bell fired the employee and issued the following statement: "We welcome everyone in our restaurants and do not tolerate this type of behavior. This is a franchise location and the team member involved no longer works for this franchisee. The franchisee has reached out to the customer to apologize.
Faizan Syed, the executive director of the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the restaurant chain should require all employees to take sensitivity training so a similar incident does not happen again.