Houston: A Pakistani-American owner, who put up anti-Hindu signs at a popular US eatery, has been forced to sell the franchise amid furore over the controversial posters that upset thousands of Indian-Americans.
Mohammad Dar, 65, agreed to give up his business in Kemah, Texas, Dairy Queen said.
“We are pleased to announce that as of Wednesday, March 30th, the DQ location in Kemah, Texas is now under new ownership and all interior and exterior signs posted by the former franchisee were immediately removed from that location,” said Dean A Peters, Associate Vice President of Communications of American Dairy Queen Corporation headquartered in Minneapolis.
For the past six months, Dar’s Dairy Queen restaurant posted signs bashing Hinduism as a force of racism. Some of the messages, displayed on tall panels, mentioned Hinduism specifically and accused it of being based on racism.
Dar taped more messages near the register, on the drive- through window and placed a large sign outside of the restaurant in the parking lot.
The owner told local media that he planned to leave because of a new, expensive “corporate mandate”.
The Hindus of Greater Houston, Hindu American Foundation and Diversity USA, welcomed a change in ownership at the Dairy Queen eatery.
“After speaking with Dairy Queen’s spokesperson, we applaud Dairy Queen for taking action to move up the timing of the sale of this location in Kemah to another franchisee owner in order to have these anti-Hindu signs removed swiftly,” the statement said.
“We also urge Dairy Queen to incorporate policies and procedures in their franchisee agreement to prevent such a situation from happening again,” it said.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard told all protesting Hindu organisations including Jagan Kaul of Diversity USA, a think- tank on minority issues, in a message that “your protest efforts have paid high dividends in causing Dairy Queen to force the owner to sell his franchise”.