A restaurant owner in the small Minnesota town of Lonsdale decided to do the public-spirited thing and put the words “MUSLIMS GET OUT” on the billboard outside his restaurant on Monday.
The Lonsdale News Review reported that Dan Ruedinger, the owner of Treats Family Restaurant, decided to put his sign up after last weekend’s attacks in the New York area and a mall in St. Cloud, MN.
Local TV station Fox 9 called the sign “controversial.” But at the point when you’re calling for an entire religion to be expelled from the country, you’ve crossed the line from controversy to Crusade.
Ruedinger characterized the sign to the News Review as a patriotic stand.
“I’ve had enough and I’m standing up,” Ruedinger told the paper. “With all the bombs and shootings we’ve had, we’re supposed to welcome refugees here who want to kill us? This has nothing to do with race, it has to do with a religion of hatred that preaches violence.
Enough locals have been angered by the sign that a small demonstration broke out in front of the restaurant on Tuesday evening, according to Fox 9. Police have also had to respond to the scene to keep people from pulling the letters out of the sign.
More damage has been done to the restaurant’s digital reputation. Review site Yelp.com posted an alert on the restaurant’s page, saying it was actively moderating new submissions due to a sudden influx of negative reviews, which is a very nice courtesy service to offer to people who post hateful messages on their billboards.
A quick review of the page seemed to indicate they weren’t doing a very good job, either way.
Ruedinger told Fox 9 the sign was not meant to be racist, and was only meant to be aimed at Muslim terrorists, but that he had a good reason for not clarifying.
“I didn’t want to put ‘terrorist’ on the board, so we were going to put ‘Muslim extremist,’ but we didn’t have room on the board,” he told Fox 9.
Well, that explains everything.