A horrified woman dining at the Hamido restaurant in Dearborn shielded her young daughter as a brawl erupted on the evening of March 21.
And yet, when The Arab American News posted the surveillance footage on its Facebook page earlier this week, many commentators were focused on why we posted the violent altercation instead.
Those people do make a point. Violence is becoming the norm at Dearborn’s businesses.
In recent months, patrons at hookah bars and restaurants have taken part in a series of violent encounters.
Heck, a gun was discharged at a hookah bar the other day and no one even batted an eye.
So what’s so special about the fighting at Hamido that warranted us revealing the footage to the community?
If you review the details of the Hamido incident, it’s actually quite a disturbing affair.
This wasn’t a scuffle between a few young men fighting over a woman; it involved an entire family facing the fury of reckless young adults.
What appears to be an exchange of words between the family and a group of young men sitting at a booth near them erupts into chaos. Within seconds, fists start flying between men of both parties.
The middle-aged father jumps into the madness to back up his sons, while his female family members sit back and watch in dismay.
Other patrons at Hamido attempt to take cover, in hopes that the stampede of violence doesn’t end up at their corner.
Management at Hamido was uncooperative with the release of the footage, which was submitted to The Arab American News by an anonymous source. The owners firmly believed that the incident would result in bad publicity for the restaurant.
But they can rest assured that no one is blaming them for the mess that ensued.
The manager at Hamido was able to gain control of the confrontation in a timely manner, diffusing the brawl within just a couple of minutes, and asking the parties to leave separately.
The truth is, this encounter could have occurred at any family restaurant in the community. Hamido just happened to be the unlucky business to host the barbaric episode.
We understand Hamido’s attempt to conceal the encounter from the public, but the very danger presented to the families inside of the restaurant is not something that should be swept under the rug.
The Arab American News was unable to obtain further details about the incident as Hamido management was being uncooperative. According to Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad, no police report was filed following the brawl.
Regardless of how the fight started and what words were exchanged, the truth is those patrons in the video should be held accountable for their behavior. It is they who tarnish the image of this community.
More via Community weighs in on growing violence at local businesses
Haddad said the string of violent altercations at Dearborn establishments has given these types of parties in the Arab community a bad rep.
He said it’s unfair to blame hookah bars and late night parties for the rise of violence, citing the Hamido incident as an example.
“It has nothing to do with the hookah bars or if there is alcohol being served,” Haddad said. “It comes down to people’s attitudes and not being raised well. You are not supposed to be making inappropriate comments to people older than you. You are not supposed to be treating women poorly. How would you feel if those were your daughters or sisters being harassed?”
Haddad said that if other establishments want to survive the nightlife scene, then they need to invest in security – even if it means losing a few bucks.
“You have to spend money on security,” Haddad said. “You cannot have any tolerance for inappropriate behavior. You have to learn how to be able to turn people away. It’s better than ending up with a huge fight, getting your place damaged or receiving a ticket from the police. It’s just not worth it.”
Wayne County Sheriff Deputy Chief Mike Jaafar, whose wife is part owner of The Lava Lounge in Dearborn Heights, said a respectable atmosphere begins by weeding out the bad apples and keeping them from entering an establishment. [or a country]
At The Lava Lounge, a sign displayed at the front door states the dress code and expected demeanor by which customers are required to adhere.
Jaafar said a dress code is key to limiting inappropriate behavior at the hookah lounge and restaurant.
“If you can avoid having those types of clients, that will be half the battle,” he said. “And that’s right at the front entrance of our door. We reserve the right to refuse service to any customer that doesn’t comply.”
Jaafar noted that the business has established a family friendly environment. Ensuring it stays that way requires staff and management to be observant at all times.
Still, a problem can strike unexpectedly and it leaves management no choice but to handle it in a swift manner.
Great advice that would keep illegal aliens, sharia-adherent and misogynistic Muslims and potential Muslim terrorists out of the United States. And if already in the U.S., would send them back to their country of origin swiftly. But these same Muslims whine and cry when the same things they do in their own communities is applied to them.
But it gets better:
Jaafar cited one incident concerning a customer at The Lava Lounge who appeared to be harassing a woman, forcing management to intervene and give him a warning.
The male patron did not take the warning lightly and was escorted out of the premises.
Jaafar believes there’s a behavioral pattern amongst some young men in the community and that it begins at home.
“Unfortunately this traces back to the way they are growing up,” Jaafar said. “Every community has its rotten apples, including ours. But I believe that if some of these kids are persistently acting like fools, then the problem goes back to how their parents are raising them at home.”
Dr. Hoda Amine, a community social worker, told The Arab American News that erratic behavior by young Arab men has become a growing concern because of lack of structure at home.
All the more reason not to allow Muslim immigration to the U.S.