Galveston restaurant shut down due to anti-muslim threats

By Natalie Hee,

GALVESTON, Texas-- A Galveston restaurant is closing its doors for good after the owner said repeated harassment and anti-Muslim threats has him scared for his life.

Asad Khan is a Pakistani Muslim and owns Zaza Bar and Bites in Galveston.

According to police reports, back in November, someone had apparently put slices of bacon on the restaurant’s doorstep and security gate-- a taboo offense for most Muslims.

The incident was investigated as criminal mischief, but no leads or suspects were ever found. Since then, Khan says the threats have just escalated.

It’s gotten so bad that Khan declined to speak to us on camera, saying he was fearful of any potential backlash.

After the bacon incident, the community rallied behind Khan.

"I think it’s sad that we’re not more tolerant of each other. I mean, we’re all different. We have to embrace each other’s differences,” Sharon Miller said.

“Just because of somebody’s ethnicity? That shouldn’t be a reason to close down a restaurant,” Taufeek Shah said.

Patrons from all across the Houston area are now showing their support for Khan on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Galveston police said the community is extremely diverse and generally tolerant of other ethnicities and religions, as hate crimes are typically not an issue.

“We really don't have the presence of a lot of hate crime here towards any protected class or toward any group. The very few hate crimes that we’ve had, none of them have been towards the Muslim community, at least that have been reported,” Capt. Joshua Schirard said.

Authorities say they’ll continue to monitor Khan’s situation and be on the lookout for any other possible hate-crimes in the area.

As for the future of Zaza Bar & Bites, Khan tells us the restaurant will never re-open, no matter what happens.