Hot Topics

Minnesota: Somali-American Woman Forgives Attacker for Hate Crime

HeadlinesDec 22, 2016
H08 somali woman attacked

In Minnesota, a judge has sentenced a woman to six months in prison after she ordered a Somali-American woman to "speak English" before smashing a beer mug into her face for speaking Swahili. Jodie Burchard-Risch pleaded guilty to last year’s assault at an Applebee’s restaurant, which left Asma Jama with a bloodied face and 17 stitches in her lip. Jama addressed her attacker in court at a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

Asma Jama: "My religion teaches me to forgive so I can go on with my life. If I hold a grudge and I hold the hate you hold towards me against you, it’s not going to serve me well. So, in front of everybody here, I do forgive you, and I hope that you choose love over hate."

Minnesota is home to a large Somali-American community, which has faced a rash of hate crimes. In a campaign stop last month shortly before Election Day, Donald Trump railed against Somali immigrants, saying some had joined ISIS and describing Somali immigration as a "disaster taking place in Minnesota."

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation