Zainab Mohamed, the owner of a bakery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says a customer canceled a cake order after discovering that Mohamed is Muslim (video below).
Mohamed told WXMI that the customer's message (with grammar typos) read:
Hey actually were going to order our cake somewhere else my husband just found out your Muslim. And I'm not against it but he is because he was in Iraq fighting for our country against your people. He even changed his new doctor because the new one he was referred to was Muslim and he just said somethings and said he dosnt feel comfortable having you make our cake. I'm so sorry.
For years, President George W. Bush and the U.S. military command in Iraq insisted that U.S. soldiers were fighting terrorists and liberating the Iraqi people.
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Mohamed's husband is a war veteran who served for three years in the U. S. Navy.
"I was trying to understand it, trying to comprehend what I was reading and I was just in complete shock," Mohamed told the news station. "Because my only response to her was, 'My people? What does that mean?'"
"My people aren't from Iraq, I am from Somalia," Mohamed added. "I just couldn't comprehend what she was saying. I was baffled. I really didn't have a response for her."
"To hear it was just sort of not just let down, I was really just hurt by it because I thought we've moved away from some of that," Javon Borst, Mohamed's husband, said. "And to have it hit so close to home, it was hurtful."
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Borst, a former Navy medic, recalled a wounded soldier: "We’re unloading him and he’s holding my hand and to think that none of that mattered, no one’s religious identity mattered. All that mattered was that you were brothers and family. And I was hurt because that’s not the broader view. I was just really let down that that could actually happen."
Mohamed stated: "The problem isn't so much the person, it's the message that they're portraying. And I feel like unless we deal with the message, there will continue to be another person that will say the same thing. There will be maybe hundreds more that feel the same way that this person feels if we don't fix what that message is."
Comments on the bakery's Facebook page have been very positive:
"I'm so sorry these people treated you this way! I have so much respect for your calm and intelligent reaction."
"Kudos to you and your husband you both handled it very well and didnt lose your cool. Keep up the great work I wish nothing but the best for you zeinab."
"I'm sorry you have to go through that. You handled it very well. You keep making amazing looking cakes."