New York, Aug 15: An Indian-origin restaurateur in the US has been racially targeted by a customer who referred to him and his family as "a tribe from India" and went on to comment that he "probably just funded Al-Qaeda" by eating at the hotel, according to a media report.
Taj Sardar, the owner of 'The Kings Diner' in Ashland, Kentucky, was targeted by racial posts by the man after eating at his restaurant, WSAZ-TV reported.
The small eatery serves a combination of home cooking and Indian dishes. Later, the man took a photo of the restaurant and wrote on Facebook to voice his displeasure with the food and also the people inside, it said.
"I reluctantly entered to order meatloaf special and was greeted by a tribe from India. I'm ashamed that I probably just funded Al-Qaeda," the post on Facebook said. "When I first read the thing on the Facebook, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, is this serious?' "
Sardar said. "I was like hopefully his backers don't try to get together and push me out here, which I've been living here since 2010," he was quoted as saying by the report. Since the racist post, the restaurant has been packed with community support doubling business ever since.
"I got to realise there are more positive people out there than the negative ones we just had experienced, and I'm really thankful to this community here," Sardar said.
Sardar said he is thankful for the outpouring of love he has received. He has complained about the incident to police as he fears the safety of his family, the report said. Meanwhile, Ashland city's Mayor Steve Gilmore and three city commissioners visited Sardar to give support.
"After what he went through, I wanted to tell him, we're very proud you're one of our entrepreneurs in the city of Ashland and your reputation is sterling," Gilmore said.
"What he went through was pretty heavy stuff, and this morning I wanted to show him we're proud of having him in our community," he said.
"There's no room in this city for that kind of behaviour, for racist behaviour and racist comments," on of the city commissioners said.
Sardar and his family came to the US legally in 2006 and moved from upstate New York to Ashland in 2010 to open their store. Meanwhile, the Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Services has terminated the employee.
"We recently became aware that a member of our staff created several posts on social media that fall far short of that standard.
On behalf of Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Services, and all 650 members our team, we wish to apologise to anyone who was offended by those posts. We do not agree with, or condone, them, they said in a statement.