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Kenyan attacked for speaking Swahili in the US

A Kenyan woman was attacked last Friday at a Minnesota restaurant for speaking to her children in Swahili, reports World Bulletin.

Asma Mohammed Jama is reported to have visited a local café identified as Applebees Restaurant in Coon Rapids with her cousin and children. A woman in an adjacent booth insisted she speaks in English.

“I live in America. I can speak English but we prefer to speak our own language. If it bothers you I’m sorry,” Jama replied to the woman.

After this, the assailant, identified as Marie Bruchard-Risch, started abusing Jama.

Paul Sommer of the local sheriff’s office confirmed the incident, saying: “Staff at the restaurant tried to intervene, tried to get them to move and get out of the way, but the suspect in the case finished her assault by taking a large beer mug and striking the victim across the face.”

Jama has since been treated and got a total of 17 stitches with a “go fund me” account opened in her name by friends.

“…never had anyone even looked at me weird for not speaking English and wearing a hijab. I’ve seen hate crimes on TV, but for it to happen to me – I’m really a different person, I don’t like it,” posted Jama on social media.

Jama’s medical bill target of $5,000 (Ksh500, 000) has so far been surpassed.

The aggressor has since been charged with third degree assault.  Should she be found guilty, she will be sentenced to “imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000 (Ksh102, 300), or both”  according to Minnesota laws.

Reports state that this is not the attacker’s first assault charge. In 2011, she pleaded guilty to a different assault charge.

Marie’s next court date will be on December 7.

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