A controversial sign posted outside of a Queensland, Australia restaurant has sparked a heated online discussion.
The sign, posted outside of the Eagle’s Nest Bar and Grill, says “Sorry No Muslims.” Here’s the full text:
"2000 years ago Jesus Christ made headlines turning water into wine ... the tradition continues ...We turn money into beer (Sorry No Muslims)."
Here’s the sign:
A concerned customer first posted a picture of the sign to the Eagle’s Nest Facebook page, saying, "Just a bit surprised to see the sign up 'Sorry No Muslims' ... what's that about???"
A heated and polarized debate ensued. For every one person slamming the sign’s message as ignorant and inappropriate, you’ll find another praising it as patriotic.
Restaurant owner John Hawkes says that although the sign has only been up for nine hours, his phone has been flooded with calls.
"Over the past 24 hours, my business and now my home has received more than 200 phone calls," he told ABC Australia. "While the great majority are in support of free speech and are of patriotic sentiment, we have fielded too many abusive and threatening calls. For this I apologize to my family.”
Hawkes sees the outrage over the sign as a byproduct of a politically correct society.
"I sincerely hope I don't end up sanitizing my every thought to the robotic degree that is evident in commercial life around us,” he says. "I did not encourage or envisage the social media response to this sign, but the story, if there is one, is in the reaction, not the action."
Longreach mayor Joe Owens criticized the sign and said it’s not indicative of his town’s sentiments towards Muslims.
“Longreach is a town that I believe welcomes all races and religions,” Owens told ABC. “It’s a very unfortunate thing that this has come out from one individual.”