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A Starbucks barista wrote 'ISIS' on a Muslim customer's cup instead of her name

Aishah repeated her name multiple times, but the employee claimed they did not hear her. She has since filed a discrimination charge.

A Starbucks barista wrote 'ISIS' on a Muslim customer's cup instead of her name
Image Source: Starbucks Announces Permanent Closure Of Hundreds Of Its Stores. CORTE MADERA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 10. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

At a Starbucks located at a Target in Minnesota on July 1, a Muslim woman received her order with the acronym "ISIS" written on the cup instead of her name. The 19-year-old customer, identified only by her first name Aishah for fear of her safety, has since filed a discrimination charge against Target, CNN reports. She is being represented by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). The group filed a charge to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Monday. Aishah wears a hijab (a headscarf that is traditionally worn by Muslim women) and said she felt singled out because of her religion.



"ISIS" is the acronym of the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are known for their radical beliefs and acts of violence across the world. It is at present unclear if the acronym was written in all-caps on the Starbucks drink cup. Nonetheless, it made the young customer feel humiliated. "The moment I saw it, I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotions," Aishah said. "I felt belittled and so humiliated. This is a word that shatters the Muslim reputation all over the world. I cannot believe that in this day and age, something like this can be considered acceptable. It isn't okay."



The woman was wearing a face mask at the time, but she repeated her name so the barista could hear her better. She did not spell her name out. She explained, "When she asked for my name, I slowly repeated it multiple times. There is absolutely no way she could have heard it as ISIS. Aishah is not an unknown name and I repeated it multiple times." At the time, the Starbucks employee claimed she had not heard the name correctly. When she requested to speak with the barista's supervisor, her "concerns were dismissed." She was simply given a new drink and a $25 Starbucks gift card. Security officers then escorted her from the premises.



Following the incident, Aishah filed a formal complaint with Target but has not received a response yet. In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson Target claimed, "[We] everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form. We are very sorry for this guest's experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation." They added that the incident has since been investigated. "[We] believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with a simple clarification," the spokesperson stated. "We're taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again."



CAIR-MN is calling for the two Target Starbucks employees to be terminated from their roles. Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN, who said that calling a Muslim person "ISIS" is "perhaps the most Islamophobic statement you can make towards a Muslim" has also asked the company to launch a second, more thorough investigation "that involves Aishah and to train their employees on Islamophobia and bigotry. "The statement that came out from Target is just unfortunate," she said in an interview with CNN. "Now we know this is a bigger issue than a simple misunderstanding, because the entire corporation is apologizing for Islamophobia without taking action."


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