A Sikh man was recently given a complimentary serving of bigotry with his meal at a Nathan’s in Aberdeen, Md., according to a statement from the Sikh Coalition.
Parampal Singh Ghai and his father were driving north on I-95 when they decided to stop at the Maryland House Service Plaza just north of Baltimore City. While Ghai was waiting to receive the food he had just ordered, he noticed that the staff had written his name on the receipt as “Osama.” Ghai, who as an observant Sikh wears a turban and grows his beard, “confronted the cashier” about the name on the receipt. The cashier reportedly smirked, while another employee and a customer outright laughed at him.
But this kind of ignorance isn’t funny to anyone who knows the danger it represents to a Sikh. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, Sikhs in the United States have frequently been attacked and even murdered over a mistaken association with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
After the story spread on social media, Nathan’s issued a response. “Nathan’s Famous does not tolerate this type of behavior,” the statement reads, “and we are taking steps to immediately address this with the franchisee that owns and operates the location.” The statement included a request to be put in direct contact with Ghai.