After Westminster Attack, Restaurateur Feeds Hundreds of First Responders for Free

Ibrahim Dogus owns three Kurdish restaurants in the Westminster area of London. When law enforcement personnel ordered this Muslim-born man to shut down and evacuate after the March 22 London car attack, Dogus asked if one restaurant could remain open — to serve them.

That dark day, a man named Khalid Masood took a rental car and drove into pedestrians, killing three and injuring nearly 30 more. He then stabbed and killed an unarmed police officer near the scene. Authorities indicated that Masood had extremist Islamic sentiments. The attack was the deadliest in the UK in over a decade.

Troia Restaurant in Westminster.  Photo credit: "Troia Restaurant at Waterloo" Facebook page

Troia Restaurant in Westminster. Photo Credit: Troia Restaurant at Waterloo/Facebook

Since the first responders had nowhere to eat or escape the cold, Dogus figured he could offer an easy solution to that problem. His restaurant, Troia, sits directly beside Westminster Bridge — mere yards from the site of the attack.

“As I prepared to close the restaurant, which was really busy at the time, I asked one of the officers if they had somewhere to use as a place to warm up and use facilities,” Dogus told The Standard. “When he told me they didn’t, I said they could use here and I ended up keeping the place open late serving all the emergency staff I could.”

Dogus ended up feeding between 300 and 500 members of the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade until 11:30 p.m that night. And he did it all for free, refusing payment from those responders who tried to reimburse him.

The Rise of an Immigrant in Britain

Dogus arrived in Britain at the age of 14 when his father came there seeking political asylum in 1994. He’s a Turkish Kurd who spoke no English at all.

Dogus started out as a waiter, but today he owns multiple restaurants in the London area. Dogus is better known to some as the Kebab King and the originator of the British Kebab Awards.

Dogus, a businessman and activist, has political aspirations.  Photo credit: Ibrahim Dogus Facebook page

Dogus, a businessman and activist, has political aspirations. Photo Credit: Ibrahim Dogus/Facebook

Stepping in to serve first responders after the London attack isn’t the only time Dogus took action to help his community. He’s been an activist for his fellow Kurds since the early 2000s, when he organized groups to support Kurdish immigrants in certain London neighborhoods.

Once, Dogus was even shot trying to battle an influx of Turkish gangs into London. He still bears a scar from that dangerous incident.

Dogus harbors strong political aspirations. He admires Sadiq Khan, London’s current mayor and Labour Party member. Khan grew up in a British Pakistani family, and he is the first Muslim to become mayor of London.

“I’ve known Sadiq [Khan] for 10 years,” Dogus told The Standard. “He is a great politician and his victory sends a great message; you can be black, Asian or from any minority community and still make it in this country.”

We Must Embrace Fellow Immigrants and People of All Faiths

Dogus understands all too well the value of law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel. He didn’t hesitate to see to their needs the day of the Westminster attack.

“It’s the very least I could do and I think it’s what any Londoner would do if they were in the same situation as me,” Dogus told The Standard. “These people fight to keep us safe and alive.”

Dogus and son. Photo credit: Ibrahim Dogus Facebook page

Dogus and son. Photo Credit: Ibrahim Dogus/Facebook

Yet again, a Muslim-born hero steps forward to selflessly offer help after a terror attack attributed to Islamic extremism. You’d think by now it would be clear that Islam isn’t to blame for the actions of individual extremists. Just as with any other religion, there are millions of good, peaceful Muslims, as well as a small collection with bad intentions.

Furthermore, immigrants often make up the backbone of any nation, adding new traditions and cultural influences. Immigrants make our world a better, stronger, more interesting place. Go back far enough, and just about every one of us comes from an immigrant family.

Good people of the Muslim faith keep rising up – even at personal cost — to assist when something horrific happens. We need to honor those humanitarian actions every time they happen, because they simply don’t get enough attention.

We need not fear a religion, and we should not fear immigrants. We must embrace people who are different from us — coexist and find strength together.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

89 comments

KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssues11 months ago

tfs

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssuesabout a year ago

Thanks

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssuesabout a year ago

Thanks

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssuesabout a year ago

Thanks

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssuesabout a year ago

Thanks

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KimJ M
KimJ ManyIssuesabout a year ago

Thanks

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sheila S
Sheila S1 years ago

Qick-thinking, kind and community-oriented...a perfect combination to run for office some day. Hope he goes far because he set a great example!

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Carl R
Carl R1 years ago

Thanks!!!

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Roberto M
Roberto MARINI2 years ago

What a generous man.

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