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Woman attacked in Minnesota for speaking foreign language

MINNESOTA: A woman was attacked by another woman in a suburban Minneapolis restaurant in Minnesota, allegedly because she was speaking a foreign language.

Asma Jama told the local media that she was chatting with her family in Swahili, one of three languages she speaks, at an Applebee’s in Coon Rapids on Oct. 30 when a woman in a nearby booth smashed a beer mug in her face. The attack left cuts on her face and a deep gash on her lip that required stiches.

“Somebody hit me because I was speaking a different language,” said Jama, an ethnic Somali who came to Minnesota in 2000 from Kenya. Jama said she couldn’t “believe after all these years somebody hit me because I’m different.”

She said she feels traumatized and may move out of Minnesota.

The woman accused in the attack, Jodie 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.

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