ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — Residents of Orange County gathered at an ice cream store on Saturday and not just for cups or cones.
They came together in a show of unity to support to Muslim women who were shown on a viral video being berated by a customer — apparently mad that they were wearing their hijabs and traditional attire.
CBS2’s Laurie Perez was there when the women said thank you and their supporters told anyone who would listen that what the man did should not be happening in America.
Video of the hate-filled encounter inside an Orange County ice cream shop has been shared and liked on Twitter more than 50,000 times since it was posted Monday.
Malaak Ammari used her cellphone to record the encounter as a fellow customer took aim at her and Nura Takkish — who were just sitting, eating ice cream and minding their own business when the man went off.
“I don’t want them in my country, that’s what I don’t want,” he ranted.
“I was fearful in the moment,” said Ammari.
They saw the man’s outburst as an sudden act of Islamophobia but what the video also showed was the just as swift response by the shop’s workers to kick the guy out.
“If you can’t be nice, we don’t want you!.” Jessie Noah, the worker, is heard saying.
An instant act of kindness that brought Ammari and Takkish and hundreds of American Muslims back to Andrew’s Ice Cream and Dessert Saturday for something sweet and then, even sweeter – a ceremony of thanks – for shop owners Greg and Cynthia Ramsay and worker Jessie Noah.
“It showed me that more than anything people are more positive, more accepting, more tolerant than ever,” said Takkish.
“They would stand up for anyone and that’s what a true American does,” said Ammari.
Maybe it was fate the encounter happened here — at an ice cream shop decorated with posters of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy and positive messages of race and tolerance.
“I would have done it for anyone, it didn’t matter their beliefs, I would have done that for anyone.” said Noah.
You could call today a victory, some might say for lovers of ice cream — and freedom. Workers here say it was all in a day’s work.
“It should be an everyday occurrence that happens in America all the time, it shouldn’t be something that’s any big deal. It’s how America should be we should all be that way,” said Cynthia Ramsey.