Minnesota Not-So-Nice: Restaurant Owner Says Muslims Get Out

A Minnesota restaurant owner responded to a tragic stabbing at a shopping mall in St. Cloud in an unfortunate manner. After the revelations that the perpetrator was Muslim, he decided to put a “Muslims Get Out” sign outside of his restaurant Monday morning.

Dan Ruedinger, the owner of Treats Family Restaurant in Lonsdale, then gloated to CBS News that business boomed so much after the sign was placed that he had to call in extra workers. 

“It’s time that people started standing up, not worrying about the PC crowd and do what is right,” Ruedinger told CBS.

While the trend of people who want to offend or discriminate against others blaming “PC [politically correct] culture” never adds up, I find it distasteful that once again, so many Americans fight back against a socially-progressing culture this way. (If business is as booming as Ruedinger says it is, that’s kind of sad.)

Ruedinger says he will not take down or change the sign, and while he has the right to put up the offensive sign, he doesn't have the legal right to discriminate under federal and state law. The sign itself, however, is an explicit Muslim repellant. Will any Muslim even think of entering his restaurant when they see it? (Especially if they’re visibly Muslim and wearing the hijab)

The worst part is that Ruedinger doesn’t actually seem to understand the consequences of the sign, or even its true purpose.          

“And I feel what we’re doing is right. We are not targeting the Muslims in general, just the extremist,” he continued. “And that’s all I can say. It’s my right and I’m going to stand up, and I wish more people would do it.”

People should never be discriminated against based on faith. 

So, as Ruedinger says that he’s only targeting the “extremist,” he’s interchanging “extremist” and “Muslim” as synonyms. If he was only targeting extremists as a result of the stabbing, why not say, “Extremists Stay Out” to send the message? Was that distinction rocket science?

But no, Ruedinger had to use the entire religious following, and then blame political correctness while attempting to set a discrimination precedent by “wishing” other people would “stand up” against inclusivity. That’s a dangerous road to go down.

Luckily, some good Samaritans snapped pictures of the sign, which drew national attention.

“I get it, it’s his right to say what he wants to say,” Payten Estepp told CBS. “But that’s giving Lonsdale a bad rap to everyone that drives by on 19, which is a very busy road, so people are going to see that and they’re going to think Lonsdale as a whole, as a community, is as crass as that sign.”

It’s not solidarity to the stabbing victims to alienate your fellow local residents because of their religion, and it never will be. Unity and equal treatment, not hatred, is the humanity people desperately need to see following the aftermaths of a tragedy.

I get that we all cope in different ways, but that is not a real way to heal a community. Everybody should be able to eat where they want to regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

This country has had enough signs telling groups of people where they can and can’t go throughout history. We should be moving forward.