‘No ill feelings,’ Muslim woman assaulted in Applebee’s tells her attacker in court

Source: Star Tribune

By Star Tribune

A Muslim woman who was assaulted with a beer mug by a woman in a Coon Rapids restaurant told the defendant during sentencing that she holds no ill will and added that what she wears and her skin color should not matter.

Asma Jama stood in an Anoka County courtroom on Tuesday, wiped away a tear, tugged gently on her hijab and turned her head toward her attacker, 44-year-old Jodie Burchard-Risch, and told her she felt no ill will toward her. Burchard-Risch had admitted slamming a beer mug into Jama’s face at an Applebee’s restaurant in October 2015 and demanding that she speak English.

“My intentions toward you are not bad,” said Jama, her clear and simple delivery captured on video by KARE-TV, Channel 11. “I don’t have any ill feelings towards you. I just want you to understand at the end of all this that we are all the same.

“It doesn’t matter what’s on my head,” she continued, making a gentle tug on her hijab. “It doesn’t matter the color of my skin, we are all the same human beings, we are fighting for the same rights.”

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