Starbucks barista accused of writing ‘ISIS’ on Muslim customer’s cup in Minn.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) - A Muslim-American advocacy group is calling for a Target employee from Minnesota and her manager to be fired after a woman alleges the employee wrote “ISIS” on her Starbucks cup.

A 19-year-old woman named Aishah and a friend went to grab coffee at a Starbucks located inside a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota. Aishah, who is Muslim, says before she could finish telling the employee behind the counter her name, she saw her write something on the side of the cup and hide it from view.

Aishah, a 19-year-old Muslim woman, and a friend went to grab coffee at a Starbucks located inside a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota. When Aishah received her beverage, she saw the cup read “ISIS.”
Aishah, a 19-year-old Muslim woman, and a friend went to grab coffee at a Starbucks located inside a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota. When Aishah received her beverage, she saw the cup read “ISIS.” (Source: Cair.com/WCCO/CNN)

When Aishah received the beverage, she saw the cup read “ISIS.”

"When I first received the drink, I was in shock that in a day and age that something like this could be written," Aishah said. "I felt humiliated. I felt enraged. I felt belittled."

Aishah asked the employee about the cup, and she says the employee told her she didn’t hear her name correctly. She says the manager sided with the employee.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for the staff involved to be fired and for additional training for other employees.

A spokesperson for Target, which manages the Starbucks location, says the company immediately apologized to Aishah after learning of the incident and said it was “an unfortunate mistake.”

“We have investigated the matter and believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with more clarification. We’re taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again,” read a statement from Target in part.

Aishah said, as of Monday morning, no one from Target had reached out to apologize. She says the employee never asked how to spell her name.

CAIR plans to file discrimination charges with the U.S. Department of Human Rights and is considering protesting.

“This is not a simple mistake. No one puts the KKK on the cup of somebody’s drink,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR Minnesota.

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