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Officer Warns 'Babies Are Used By Terrorists' After Elite Country Club Calls Them Over Breast-Feeding Mom

A Belgian diplomat's family was kicked out of the Metropolis Country Club last month for breastfeeding.
 
 
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A Belgian diplomat told the New York Post that he and his family were kicked out of the Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, New York after his wife was breast-feeding their child. He said they were treated like “terrorists.”

36-year-old Tom Neijens, the first secretary of the Belgium Mission to the UN, went to the country club in June with his wife, 34-year-old Roseline Remans. They arrived for lunch, even though they weren’t members of the club. They were nonetheless granted permission to dine there.

But when Remans began to breast-feed her her daughter Luka, the trouble began. A female manager allegedly came up to the family and reportedly said, “Please leave immediately, you are disturbing the members.” Remans was told to finish breastfeeding in the bathroom.

“You don’t ask a person to have lunch in the restroom — why would you ask a baby to have lunch there?” Neijens told the Post.

The Greenburgh Police Department reportedly arrived shortly after the request. Detect Scott Harding yelled, “close the doors!” Other diners were told to leave the room.

“He had one hand on his gun, one hand on his Taser,” Neijens said of Harding, who said the couple were trespassing and that other people at the country club thought they may be terrorists because of their black backpack.

After Remans questioned that logic, the cop allegedly said: “In Sri Lanka, babies are used by terrorists.” After the cop was showed Neijens’ State Department ID, he said, “You have to understand, this club has had terrorism threats in the past.”

Neijens has now sent an angry e-mail to the Metropolis Country Club. “I am deeply worried about your staff if they cannot distinguish between a European couple looking for a quiet place to breast-feed a baby and suicide terrorists carrying a backpack,” he said.

But a spokesman for the Greenburgh police said the incident was a “cultural misunderstanding” and that it was the Belgian diplomat who said, “you must think the baby is a terrorist.”

(H/t Gawker.)

 

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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