Racine resident Jacob Francis posted a 1 out of 5 star rating for Kabab & Grill on February 26, setting off an instant backlash for his additional message of hate. Low ranking Google Reviews are not uncommon for restaurants, but the comment Francis added was.
“This place is owned [by] Muslims so I won’t [eat] here! Support Americans not Eastern Invaders!”
But Kabab & Grill turned the negative review into a positive for its business and the community. The Pakistani Restaurant located in Racine opened in December 2016. It is owned by Umar Nirman who is from Lahore, in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
“My son told me I should post the negative review on Facebook,” said Nirman. “So I added a message ‘love for all and hate for none’ and wished Racine a blessed day.”
The following day, February 27, dozens of customers visited the store to show their public support. The original Facebook post has been shared and commented on repeatedly as well, condemning the hate speech and standing up for Nirman.
- Ann Smith: Love the food. I’m glad you’re part of my neighborhood.
- Tiffany Fitch Behrends: Love Kabab And Grill not just for the food! We have eaten there many times and enjoy the friendly service and conversation.
- Jody Spencer: We’ve been meaning to try this restaurant and will definitely be in this week!! Sorry there are such ignorant people here.
- Bill Koebert: Never been there! Guess I’ll have to try it!
Nirman said that he did not care what community or religion his customers came from. Kabab & Grill serves everyone and he takes pride in treating everyone well. He felt customers appreciated his restaurant and knew his heart, and that was why so many responded.
“Most people did not like that Facebook post, where someone shared the Google Review hating Muslims,” added Nirman. “But it has brought a show of unity from the Racine community, coming together to be here and support us.”