Muslim community leaders in Minnesota have denounced a restaurant owner who posted a controversial sign in the wake of the stabbing incident at a St. Cloud mall Saturday.
On Monday, a sign appeared outside Treats Family Restaurant in Lonsdale, Minn. that read “Muslims get out.”
Owner Dan Ruedinger told Lonsdale News Review that after he heard about the stabbings, he couldn’t take it any longer and wanted his opinion heard.
“I’ve had enough and I’m standing up,” he said. “With all the bombs and shootings we’ve had, we’re supposed to welcome refugees here who want to kill us? This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with a religion of hatred that preaches violence.
“Some Muslims are good people and want a better life. They need to step up, take control and hold the others accountable.”
On Monday evening, a small group of demonstrators gathered outside Treats to protest the sign, reports FOX 9. Police were called when a female protestor stopped at the restaurant and proceeded to pull letters from marquee.
But the protests didn't keep the restaurant from taking down the controversial message and on Tuesday, local leaders from the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations went to the restaurant to talk with Reudinger. After the conversation, the council’s executive director Jaylani Hussein said he could not come to an agreement with the restaurant owner.
“It was a short conversation. He did not agree,” Hussein told media outlets gathered outside the restaurant Tuesday. “We are here to talk to people; to start a dialogue. We wanted to talk to him about the sign and about issues.”
He reiterated that he will continue to reach out to Treats' owner and hopes the community can come together in the wake of tragedy.
“Hundreds and thousands of Muslims were shocked and appalled [by the violence in St. Cloud],” Hussein said. “These messages [on the sign] do not bring us together.”