La Shish Goes Out of Business
Today's Chicago Tribune has a blurb about the popular Middle Eastern restaurant chain, La Shish, located in the Detroit area, going out of business. The owner, Talal Chahine, was accused of being linked to terrorist organizations overseas. A company spokesman said that once the accusations were made, business fell off by 50%. Federal agents raided Chahine's homes and businesses in 2005 looking for evidence of a $6.5 million tax evasion scheme. Chahine fled to Lebanon at that time.
I post this as information, not as a political statement. Dad and I have eaten many times at La Shish on our trips to Detroit. We have shared meals with friends (pcdiva met us there a couple of years ago) and family (I have a cousin and his family in Plymouth) at La Shish and have always been happy with the food and service.
If in fact Talal Chahine was funneling money to terrorist organizations it would make me sick with anger over having been duped and used in that manner. I would hope that the United States government would prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, levying the harshest punishment allowable, if he is guilty. However, this administration, in its frighteningly successful attempt at fear mongering, has been wrong more often than it has been right.
So until proven one way or the other, I will reserve judgment on Mr. Chahine. I will only say that if these ties to terrorist organizations are proven false, Detroit has lost a great contribution to its ethnic food scene. If the charges are true, it is a great tragedy and a crime that a cultural uniter like food was used in this shameful manner.