Gesture Builds Understanding

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My family and I drove to Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach not because they were offering free coffee and desserts as part of a court settlement stemming from a law suit two years ago involving seven Muslim ladies who were dining at Urth Caffe and were asked to leave after they had been there for 45 minutes or so.

We drove 25 miles to say thank you to Urth Caffe corporate and in particular to the store management from the Muslim community.

The outcome of this settlement was to bring about sensitivity training of staff, respecting diversity and knowing your customer.

I applaud the action taken by Urth Caffe management on the eve of the holiest day for Muslims world wide at the end of the 30 days of fasting during the month of Ramadan and celebrating as a community the day of Eid on Friday.

The gesture went beyond handing out coffee and desserts that were tasty. It brought a community together as it should be for such establishments. It is about understanding, willingness to listen and to know one another in a civil and respectable way.

We do not want any group of individuals to be looked down upon or treated differently because of how they dress or appear. It is a teaching moment and this decision, be it a judge’s court order or a request of the plaintiffs who felt humiliated and their rights violated, goes to core values of who we are as Americans.

A good gesture not just to Muslims but to all of Urth Caffe patrons is a step in the right direction to bring people closer in a friendly welcoming environment. The City of Laguna Beach has a great reputation for being people and tourism friendly. Urth Caffé  definitely provides such an ambiance as well and it will only get better going forward from this learning.

I’d like to thank the managers on duty,

Mandy and Shirley Felipe, including the staff for being welcoming and taking time to talk to me as I wanted to acknowledge that Muslims are people just like every one else who like to enjoy good coffee and have memorable moments with friends and family.

We are after all one humanity.

Urth Caffe thanks for reaching out, keep the spirit of generosity and kindness flowing to all not a few.


Fareed Farukhi, Buena Park



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