A Sydney kebab shop is facing outrage and a boycott after its owner shared a homophobic meme on social media.
Ziftekhar Hasan, owner of Yilmaz Grill and Bakehouse in the inner suburb of Waterloo, shared a meme showing a person kicking a figure with a rainbow flag.
The post also read “Why should gay people have rights when we don’t even have the right to not have to put up with seeing them in public?”, “If you support these clowns unfriend me”, and “Share if you’re against gay people”.
Locals have hit back against Hasan and the kebab shop, posting a flood of one-star reviews and criticising him for the homophobic post.
Hasan initially stood by the comments and claimed that none of his customers were gay, before later posting a lengthy apology as criticism intensified.
“I would sincerely ask you guys for your forgiveness,” he wrote.
“It wasn’t meant at picking a fight or cause division.
“I hope you guys can find it in your heart to forgive me and accept my apology.”
He said that sharing the meme had been prompted by a friend’s sexual assault by a gay person.
This week, Hasan told A Current Affair that the post was “a joke”.
Many in the local community have turned on him and the shop, with the backlash causing Hasan to shut down the business’s Facebook page.
An angry neighbour threw eggs at the shopfront, shouting, “You’re a homophobe… your business should be shut down.”
Police were called to the scene.
“It’s disgusting to treat people like this,” said one woman.
“It was quite a big kind of hatred move and the backlash… is well deserved,” said another local.
“[The apology] wasn’t genuine, as far as I’m concerned.”
Despite the outrage, Hasan said that gay people are “more than welcome” in his shop.
“There’s thousands of similarities that we have, but we probably have one or two differences,” he said.
“It’s not worth fighting for those two differences, but be united with the thousand similarities that we have, that’s the message I have.”