Urth Caffe countersues group of Muslim women in discrimination lawsuit

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach is now countersuing a group of Muslim women who sued them for discrimination after they were asked to leave.

The popular eatery has hired American Freedom Law Center, which called the women's lawsuit "a fraud and a hoax on the courts and the media."

The law center says Urth Caffe did not discriminate against the women who claim they were asked to leave because they were wearing hijabs, but because the women refused to abide by the cafe's seating policy.

Sara Farsahk recorded a video on April 22 when police were called to escort her and her friends out of the place.

In response to the video that went viral on Facebook, Urth Caffe said the group violated its policy of giving up a table after 45 minutes during busy hours and that people were waiting in line.

But the seven women, six of whom wear head scarves, said there were plenty of tables outside and inside the restaurant. They said they were the only ones asked to leave and when they refused authorities were called.

"We did not do anything wrong, yet we were escorted out and made to feel like criminals," plaintiff Soondus Ahmed said.

The women announced their civil rights lawsuit in Santa Ana Tuesday morning.

The American Freedom Law Center says it plans to sue the women for trespassing and will seek for damages for "their fraudulent lawsuit."
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