Minnesota Starbucks Barista Allegedly Wrote ISIS On Muslim Woman’s Drink

by : Lucy Connolly on : 08 Jul 2020 13:14
Minnesota Starbucks Barista Allegedly Wrote ISIS On Muslim Woman's DrinkMinnesota Starbucks Barista Allegedly Wrote ISIS On Muslim Woman's DrinkCBS Minnesota/CAIR-MN

A Muslim teenager has said she was left feeling ‘humiliated’ after a Starbucks barista allegedly wrote ‘ISIS’ on her coffee cup.

Aishah, from Minneapolis-St Paul, was visiting the Starbucks store inside a Target store in St. Paul with her friend on July 1 when the incident occurred.


The 19-year-old said before she could even finish telling the employee her name, they began to write something on the side of the cup and hide it from view.

You can listen to Aishah explain what happened next below:

When she was handed her coffee cup, the teenager said she was ‘in shock’ to find ‘ISIS’ written on it in place of her name. ISIS is a common acronym for the Islamic State terrorist group.


Speaking at a press conference on Monday, July 6, Aishah said she was wearing a hijab at the time she placed her order, which clearly identified her as a Muslim woman.

‘The word that was written on the drink is a word that shatters the Muslim reputation all around the world,’ the college student said, as per the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

When she asked the barista about it, they reportedly said they didn’t hear her name correctly. Aishah said the manager then backed the employee up, calling the incident a ‘mistake’.

muslim teenager receives starbucks cup with ISIS on itmuslim teenager receives starbucks cup with ISIS on itCAIR-MN

Aishah is now being represented by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), which filed a charge to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights on Monday.

According to Jaylani Hussein, the CAIR-MN’s executive director, the manager told the teenager: ‘What is the issue? People get their names wrong all the time.’

Hussein explained:

Unfortunately, with Islamophobia, the number one thing Muslims are… discriminatorily identified (as) is terrorists… Using this word for us would be the same as a Black man today being (called) the N-word.


Despite feeling humiliated, enraged and belittled by the incident, Aishah said she was sent away from the store with a replacement drink and a $25 gift card.

muslim teenager receives starbucks cup with ISIS on itmuslim teenager receives starbucks cup with ISIS on itCAIR-MN/CBS Minnesota

She has since filed a formal complaint with Target, which the teenager says she has still not heard from or received an apology from.

The company claimed it has issued an apology to Aishah, saying in a statement it is ‘taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again’.


The statement continued:

At Target, we want everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form.

We are very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologised to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation.

muslim teenager receives cup with ISIS on starbucksmuslim teenager receives cup with ISIS on starbucksCBS Minnesota

The retailer added that they have ‘investigated the matter and believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with a simple clarification’.

Hussein disputes the explanation, stating: ‘This is not a simple mistake. No one puts, you know, the “KKK” on the cup of somebody’s drink.’

Starbucks declined to comment on the incident, with a spokesperson telling CNN this particular Starbucks is located inside a Target, meaning it is entirely run and operated by Target.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, discrimination, ISIS, Minnesota, Now, Racism, Starbucks


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