A Muslim woman was brutally attacked with a beer mug at a Minnesota restaurant in the Unites States allegedly for not speaking in English.
“Somebody hit me because I was speaking a different language.
I can’t believe after all these years, somebody hit me because I’m different,” Asma Jama told Minnesota Public Radio News of her experience.
An ethnic Somali, Jama, who came to the US from Kenya in 2000, had been speaking to her family in Swahili, one of three languages she speaks, at an Applebee’s on October 30 when another woman in a nearby booth smashed a beer mug in her face. Jama was left with cuts on her face and a deep gash on her lip that required 17 stiches.
According to MPR News
, Jama said her attacker, Jodie Burchard-Risch, and her husband told her to “go home” and that “when you’re in America you should speak English”.
“I’m home,” she told Burchard-Risch. “I can speak English, but we choose to speak whatever language we want.”
Jama, who was left traumatised after the attack and doesn’t feel safe leaving her house alone, said, “I’m actually thinking about moving out of Minnesota. I’m scared for my life. I don’t feel comfortable here anymore.” Jama said.
Burchard-Risch was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with third-degree assault. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for hate crime charges.
A criminal report alleges that Burchard-Risch was upset that the victim was speaking in a foreign language and refused to leave when the restaurant manager tried to intervene. She then threw a drink at Jama and smashed the beer mug in her face before running away, Associated Press reported. Burchard-Risch is scheduled to return to court on December 7.
GO FUND ME
Meanwhile, an account was created on a fundraising website Go Fund Me to raise money for Jama’s medical expenses. As of now, over $10, 000 have been raised.