New York bombing suspect’s family-run restaurant faces public ire

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New Jersey, Sep 20 (IANS) A fast-food restaurant run by the family of New York bombings suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami has been flooded with negative reviews and Islamophobic messages ever since Rahami was identified by the police, UK daily Independent has reported.

The restaurant named ‘First American Fried Chicken’ is run by Rahami’s father at the ground floor of their residence in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and has employed Rahami and some of his brothers.

According to neighbours, the restaurant was “always” a nuisance and the city had to pass an ordinance to force it to close down early, The New York Times quoted Mayor J. Christian Bollwage of Elizabeth as saying.

In the hours following the identification of Rahami as a bombing suspect, a stream of negative reviews starting pouring from across the United States on the Yelp review page of the restaurant, which, so far, had quite a positive rating.

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Some messages were crass or tasteless, “others openly Islamophobic”, reported Independent.

While one reviewer from Louisiana called the Rahamis “Filthy Mohammedan Savages”, another advised people not to spend their money on businesses that hate America.

“I hope your son gets water-boarded,” read another review.

Till Monday morning, the restaurant had an average rating of 4.67 stars from three reviews. In a few hours, the rating plunged to below two stars.

Meanwhile, people living in the neighbourhood complained that the restaurant drew unruly crowds as the restaurant stayed open all night. One of the neighbours complained of often finding the restaurant customers “loitering” in his yard and “urinating” in his driveway.

The City Council passed an ordinance to force it to close at 10 p.m, the New York Times quoted the mayor as saying.

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However, the Rahami family sued the city of Elizabeth for “discrimination” on account of his “ethnicity”, the mayor said.

Ahmad Rahami was born in Afghanistan and came to the United States along with his father in 1995, seeking asylum. He became a citizen of the United States in 2011.

The New York City Police Department had earlier on Monday released a photograph of Rahami as the suspect in the Manhattan explosion incident, that left 29 people injured.

Rahami was taken into custody on Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.



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