A Woman At Applebee’s Attacked For Speaking In Foreign Language

The price for not speaking English in America: facial lacerations and 17 stitches.

A  woman named Asma Jama was casually hanging out with her family in a suburban Minneapolis Applebee’s restaurant when something strange happened.

While waiting for her food, Jama was chatting with her cousins and nieces in Swahili when a couple sitting next to them became upset at hearing the family converse in a foreign language.

Jodie Burchard-Risch, 43, and her husband were allegedly angry that being in the United States, Jama was speaking in a language other than English, and hit her in the face with a glass mug, leaving Jama with cuts across her face and a deep gash on her lip.

Burchard-Risch told Jama to "go home. When you're in America, you should speak English," according to reports by Minnesota Public Radio News.

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"I'm home," Jama responded to the couple. "I can speak English, but we choose to speak whatever language we want."

According to authorities, Burchard-Risch responded by hitting Jama in the face with a glass mug, leaving the multi-lingual Minnesota resident with injuries that required 17 stitches.

"I [can't] believe after all these years somebody hit me because I'm different," Jama told MPR. "Somebody hit me because I was speaking a different language."

Hate crimes in America have significantly risen over the past decade. According to the FBI hate crime statistics, of the 1,223 anti-religious hate crimes, 13.7 percent of them were anti-Islamic (Muslim).

Burchard-Risch was arrested on Monday and charged with third-degree assault.  Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, released a statement arguing "the current charge is insufficient to communicate the seriousness of and possible bias motive for the alleged attack."

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The victim, Jama, understandably says she feels “traumatized” and “doesn’t feel safe leaving the house alone.”

"I'm actually thinking about moving out of Minnesota. I’m scared for my life. I don't feel comfortable here anymore," she said.