A Starbucks in Houston ejected paying customers for wearing T-shirts stating “I’m an Ex-Muslim, Ask Me Why.”
The message apparently conflicted with the Islamic Society of North America conference that was going on nearby.
A group called Ex-Muslims of North America said its volunteers were “forcibly expelled” from a Starbucks within a Hilton hotel in Houston “after refusing to change out of T-shirts stating, ‘Love is Greatest’ and ‘I’m an Ex-Muslim, Ask Me Why.’”
They were taking a coffee break after handing out flyers and speaking with people attending the ISNA event nearby.
“I was surprised. I was simply drinking my iced coffee and scrolling through my phone, and they told me I needed to leave, so I asked why,” Lina, an ex-Muslim Syrian woman who had traveled to the conference on behalf of EXMNA, said in the statement.
“I was told that they are not allowing protesters at the property, I assured the woman that I was not a protester. She then asked me if I was part of the event or a guest at the hotel. I was neither. I was then told that even though I was a paying customer, I was not allowed to be on the premise as it was reserved for guests and event members for the weekend and that they will not be allowing anyone else on their private property. However, I noticed the Starbucks was still open to the public and I didn’t see anyone else being asked to leave.”
A video shows the group members being told their shirts were the problem.