Threat to cafe owner over Hebdo sign

Threat to cafe owner over Hebdo sign

A London coffee shop owner today vowed he would not back down after receiving death threats for displaying a ‘Je suis Charlie’ sign outside his cafe.

The London Evening Standard reports that Adel Defilaux, a French-born Muslim, was terrified when a man stormed into The Antishop in Brick Lane, East London, at 9.30am yesterday.

The intruder demanded that M Defilaux take down the sandwich board featuring the slogan that has become a rallying cry in support of the 12 victims of Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

But when Defilaux, 32, calmly protested the man became aggressive and warned that anyone who supported the French satirical magazine should die.

Defilaux, who is originally from Marseille but has lived in London for five years, said:

He came in very aggressively and he told me to remove the sign. I asked him why and he said his community was offended by it and said if I didn’t remove it something bad was going to happen.

I told him I was Muslim myself and I wanted to talk gently with him and I said people can’t kill journalists for expressing themselves.

I calmly explained to him that what he was saying was not the reality of Islam. I thought I could calm him down, but it had the opposite effect. He went crazy.

He said ‘I believe these people deserve to be killed and anyone supporting them deserves also to be killed. I was all alone and started getting scared. He was a dangerous person. He said if I didn’t take down the sign he would smash up the shop, and then he just left.

Defilaux said he had put up the sign to support everyone in France and had received no complaints from anyone else.

I get on with all the community here. We are opposite a mosque and all my neighbours are Muslim and no one else has had a problem with the sign. These fanatics believe in the wrong stories and have no shame in attacking people.

But he said he would not give in to the threat and would continue to display the sign in the café, where he offers barista training and free coffees to the homeless.

I feel weak by myself with my little café trying to fight against him but I won’t let him do what he wants. I’m a Muslim like him and if I want to support Charlie Hebdo I will do it. I don’t want to let him win.

Defilaux described the man who made the threats as Asian, in his 30s, and wearing a grey sweater and scarf and blue jeans.

Police were today watching CCTV footage taken from a camera in the cafe as they launched an inquiry to trace the intruder.

• Picture: Nigel Howard

Update: Huge queues formed in Paris for today’s issue of Charlie Hebdo, and the top bid for a special edition on eBay was … £100,100.00! Seriously?!

12 responses to “Threat to cafe owner over Hebdo sign”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    Je suis Adel Defilaux.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    If I lived in London I would make a point of frequenting his café to show my support. Kudos to him for not backing down.

  3. Steve says:

    “I’m a Muslim like him ” – you’re clearly not. You’re the polar opposite.

  4. andym says:

    Some people are saying Charlie shouldn’t have printed their latest cartoon because of the upset it causes.. So ,by rights, “Je suis Charlie” signs should also be taken down as they cause clear offence to some Muslims. That’s the problem with limiting yourself for fear of causing offence.It’s impossible to know what will.

  5. Stephen Turner says:

    Good for him.
    Intimidation and threats seem to be the only things the extremists have. Where do they actually learn their arrogance?

  6. L.Long says:

    OK! I’m confused.
    If the fundies say they are following the karan, and this moderate says the karan does not say to do the violent schite, so is the same thing as xtians saying the buyBull says love when it actually say hate but the xtians can see the hate words or deny them??? Or is this store owner trying to be a hypocrite behaving better then the book o’BS says yet to scared to admit it is BS??

  7. Cali Ron says:

    Religious doctrine can be interpreted just about any way you want to interpret it, which is why you have so many different versions of chrstianity and islam. The bible, koran and torah are all so complex and self contradictory they can be spun many ways. Many religious sects don’t even bother with those texts, making their own doctrine up as they go. It’s all delusional anyway so there really is no common standard to abide by.

    It is nice to see a muslim who hasn’t let the religion turn him into an intolerant fool. Now if he would just get over the whole islam thing and free himself from religious tyranny he would know freedom.

  8. Rob Andrews says:

    Islam, Islam
    Religion of tolerant peace are we
    Islam ,Islam
    We’ll kill you if you disagree

    One more thing like C.Hebdo attack and the public will demand something be done. We can’t continue to live in fear….. But what can be done?

  9. Trevor Blake says:

    Calm and friendly debate is best. Mockery is also good. But when these fail Europe has has men like Charles Martel, Holger Danske, John III Sobieski and others who respond to Islam in the language it knows best. What does not work is apologizing and appeasement. Which strategies are the leaders of Europe employing now? Me, debate and mockery work fine for me.

  10. jay says:

    Meanwhile these political hypocrites were marching with Charlie

  11. Robster says:

    This bloke’s a cool dude, offering barista training to the homeless and all. What he needs is to serve the”offended” muzzy customers an Irish coffee marketed with a groovy name that suggests purity and piety while offering a relaxing intoxication. He may have a problem with the licensing authorities, but if it’s contributing to a more peaceful society, I’m sure they’d turn a blind eye.

  12. JohnMWhite says:

    Obviously he shouldn’t have put up a sign that was going to cause offense. Why is it necessary to say “Je suis Charlie” anyway?

    In fact, he shouldn’t sell coffee, because that’s obviously going to offend Mormons.

    And he shouldn’t handle money, it’s obviously going to offend Communists.

    And he shouldn’t ever celebrate his birthday, imagine how it might make a Jehova’s Witness feel.

    And he shouldn’t speak coherently, it’s just clearly going to offend imbeciles.

    So… when do we stop surrendering to tantrums? I’d like to know when it’s ok to not give a shit what a fucking idiot gets offended by.