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Minnesota Woman Assaulted in Applebee’s for Not Speaking “American”

Minnesota Woman Assaulted in Applebee’s for Not Speaking “American”

Did you know that freedom of speech in American is only applicable if one is speaking “American?” Me neither.

A Muslim woman in Coon Rapids, Minnesota was dining with her husband at a local Applebee’s when a worker overheard her speaking Swahili and smashed a beer mug across her face.

“Because of people like you.”

The managers stepped in when they saw the worker, 43 year old Jodie Marie Burchard-Risch, begin to get upset to try to deescalate the situation but Burchard-Risch refused to leave, continued to yell at the victim, Asma Jana, and threw a drink at her. She then smashed a mug across Jana’s face in a “roundhouse punch” that resulted in a deep cut across her nose, a cut on her right eyebrow, and a large, deep cut on her lower lip. Jana needed 17 stitches for her injuries.

“You’re in America, you have to speak American,” Burchard-Risch yelled at Jana before assaulting her.

Jana responded to the woman by telling her that she is capable of speaking English and that she has no problem with doing so. She asked Burchard-Risch why she was a racist, to which Burchard-Risch replied, “because of people like you.”

She then smashed a mug across Jana’s face…

Burchard-Risch was arrested by responding police after she fled. She is being charged with third-degree assault.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for additional hate crime charges because they believe that the crime was catalyzed by the fact that Jana wears the hijab and was targeted for her faith.

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As for Jana, she made a statement to the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis that shows the emotional distress a hate crime like this causes on its victims, “I live in America. I can speak English but we prefer to speak our own language if it bothers you I’m sorry — Emotionally, that has destroyed me to be entirely honest.”

On Friday afternoon, a GoFundMe page was set up by a friend for Jana, in an effort to help pay for her medical bills. So far the fund has raised nearly $11,000.


Image: Cosmopolitan

View Comments (23)
  • America has freedom of speech, unlike Islam.

    “Did you know that freedom of speech in American is only applicable if one is speaking “American?” Me neither.” what an idiotic statement.

    • Comparing the ideals of a country of many different religions (including Islam) and secular outlooks to the ideals of one religion doesn’t appear to me as a very intelligent analogy either.

          • LOL ok so you’re speaking for the 2 billion people in the world who follow the religion.. including myself? I don’t think so. You clearly know nothing. Are you going to say all Christians have a political agenda too?

          • no, I never said ALL. of course there are some secular muslims, just look at the two politicians shoot in Tunisia. although if you look at the constitution, tunisia proclaims themselves an Islamic state. I’m speaking in generalities. MOST muslims want sharia to be the law of the land. I linked the pew poll to AM’s comment. check it out.
            lots of Christians have a political agenda, just as the dominionists. but they are actually a small minority in the world. most modern Christians have embraced the concept of separation of church and state (religion and governance). muslims have not. this I know.
            so you are a muslim? can you tell me where gog and magog are?

          • First of all, I’m glad I delayed my response since I was rather amused by the typical response which was
            to dismiss whatever educational qualities I may or may not have about a certain topic, all because I chose to challenge an analogy rather than receive immediate
            feedback with facts.

            Secondly, I’m all the more amused by this constant insistence of not only by individuals, but INSTITUTIONS
            and news agencies that Sharia Law supposedly comes in one version. As if Saudi Arabia’s constitution of “Sharia Law” is supposedly, the very same of that of
            Tunisia, or that of Tunisia’s supposedly represents by default, that of the United Arab Emirates, thus tossing aside all considerations of sects,differences of theological intepretations WITHIN those sects or evolution,
            adaption or discarding of certain mallable aspects of the creed itself. You can bring ten thousand muslims to agree on “Sharia” being a good thing; put them to explain what it is, and you’ll be rewarded with hundreds of thousands of

            You’ll be happy to know that I’ve actually taken the time to read your source. While I’m a Gallup fan
            these guys aren’t half bad. Allow me to quote something your statement conveniently leaves out:

            “…The survey also shows that Muslims differ widely in how they interpret certain aspects of sharia, including whether divorce and family planning are morally acceptable.

            So before you smear, generalize and put fourth these sweeping claims and insinuate that ‘secular
            muslims’ are the only good apples of the basket, let’s get into specifics before we entertain your straw man form of argument (I’ll assume you’re educated enough to know what that is) by bringing up a completely different
            topic relating to the ongoing debate of theological topic about Gog and Magog.

            We’ll start with what you presented earlier: The analogy of the United States, a country inhabited by secular, christain, muslim, hindu, jewish,budduhist (the list goes on, without mentioning Christian denominations whom supposedly ALL reserve their political agendas).

            I see you were kind enough revise the Islam acting as a nation statement; thank you for that. I agree with you. It
            is a form of governance, in the very same sense that autonomy is a form of governance. Please proceed.

          • lol. when did I claim there is only one interpretation of sharia? the funny thing is that it is muslims who say there is only one sharia, god’s law. then they charge that the other muslims have it wrong, the ahmadi say the salafi use unauthentic hadiths. the shia say abu hararia was an idiot and hate Aisha, the sunni call them takfir.
            so now you agree that it is a form of government. great. other than that, I don’t see what you are saying, after “So before you smear…” you make no statements that make sense. autonomy is not a form of government, it is allowing a group to form their own form of government.

          • Autonomy, as indicated by Cambridge, Oxford, Meriam Webster, Collins, and just about every authority of the English language, is recognized as a form of self-governance. Yes. It applies to both individual and groups. I’m not entirely sure whether your problem is with them or something related to your comprehensive skills. I brought that analogy in because you’ve simply presented fourth a incomplete statement. You’re not justifying the analogy between a country that houses a vast variety of demographics to a system of beliefs that deals with metaphysical and conduct dimensions.

            Secondly, you sourced statistics on “Sharia Law”. You did not bother to associate whether this Sharia Law that you talk about came from extreme forms of interpretations, whether they belonged to sects, certain doctrine, certain countries or any minor or large entities, so please – either clarify that position or show me how that isn’t a smearing generalization in the face of a couple billion Muslims who see Sharia differently. How is that not bigotry?

            Thirdly, if you’re going to use Arabic words, I suggest you do your research based on credible sources about the Arabic language. Kaafir blatantly means “Non-Believer” and Takfir means the state of not believing. Essentially, everyone’s a kaafir of something, so really, when the *infidelity card* is carelessly tossed around regarding that word (which retains a rather beautiful metaphor, if I may add), it just spits in the language more then the religion and it astounds me how even Arabic speakers don’t know about it. But you’re supposedly educated! You should!

            And onto the point of Salafis (whom by the way, are also part of the sunni), Shia (whom for the record, have seen disputes between members of the sect regarding love/hate to Aisha, therefore, again, you generalize) sunni disagreeing on Sharia and historical authorities in Islam – yes they do. I’m not sure what intellectual utopia you fantasize about, but its a part of human nature and its as real in religious circles as it is in secular circles.

            You’re running in circles mate. Focus on one thing so we can actually get something out of this debate,

          • please post your link. my understanding of autonomy, simply means self rule. it has no dogma or ideology attached to it. you can be an autonomous communist or an autonomous capitalist. wha law does autonomy imply? what economic structure? how do you choose the leadership? is there leadership?

            “I’m not entirely sure whether your problem is with them or something related to your comprehensive skills.” who is ‘them’? you have no antecedent to your pronoun.

            secondly, read the link. that is the largest poll ever conducted about muslim beliefs. dozens of countries and I think 38,000 people questioned. you said you were a gallop person, so certainly you know how polls work.

            thirdly, kafir means ‘to conceal’ and yes is used to describe infidels, disbelievers as in we ‘conceal the truth’. takfir, as I used it, is one muslim proclaiming another a kafir, or a non-believer.

            yes, of course salafi are sunni. so are sufi. yes I’m sure there are some shia who love Aisha, despite the battle of camel. and there are jews for jesus, and Unitarian Christians.
            there is no way to have a discussion without generalizing. so no it is not bigoted to say muslims what to implement sharia. it is a statement supported by the facts.
            I fantasize about an intellectual utopia where people don’t say we should do something because some guy did 1400 years ago. I fantasize about a world where people create laws based on logic and reason, not some ancient book full of non-sense like jinn and gog and magog and al-khidr.
            but if you want to focus, let’s focus. 4:11, a well know verse from the Koran. what say you about it?

          • I’ve seen a lot of your comments on this site, and you seem to have a very simplistic, misinformed approach to complex ideas of Islam. I don’t have the time or the qualifications to respond to every single one, so I’m directing you to more knowledgable & credible resources in the hope that you’ll find the answers you’re looking for:
            Translations of the Qur’an with commentary
            – The Message of The Quran
            Translated And Explained by Muhammad Asad
            – Oxford World Classics Quran Translation
            People who professionally study Islam
            – Osama (not sure of last name)
            – Lema

          • I’ve read Muhammad Asad’s translation and explanation of the Koran.
            do you translate Zina as both fornication and adultery?
            so is it complex as whether you lash someone or stone them to death. are the inheritance laws of 4:11 complex? is it complex to say that pork is forbidden? that the Koran is the ‘divine law of god’?
            yes my approach is simplistic:
            do you lash a fornicator (of course given the 4 witnesses)
            do you stone an adulterer
            do women inherit less than men, because they are women (or should we talk about the wali)
            are kufr like cattel?
            or is my heart diseased?
            have you ever read the book of jihad by ibn nuhaas?
            what do you think of al-ghazali and occasionalism?
            thanks, i’ll checkout your links. but somehow I think they aren’t anything I haven’t seen before.

          • Your approach is simplistic in that you hunt for a certain answer that you expect to hear rather than look for whole truth. You also don’t seem to understand the process of reading sources with regard to context and credibility. You also know very little about Islamic theological study, yet you assume you understand everything about Islam.

            1 & 2:
            part 2 of question 2:
            3: It’s not complex to say that pork is forbidden, but deriving rulings on halal vs. haram foods in general can get very complicated. For example, whether or not gelatin is permissible if it has undergone a chemical change. Or whether you can consume something that has been baked with vanilla extract, since the extract contains some alcohol. etc, etc.
            6: I hadn’t before you had mentioned it, but I skimmed over the book and its definition of jihad is very contradictory to what I’ve been taught growing up, attending the mosque, and attending Sunday school. Based on what I’ve learned, there are multiple forms of jihad, the personal struggle against sin being the strongest. Furthermore, many hadiths quoted are narrated by Abu Huraira, whom is considered to have questionable authenticity, so I’m highly skeptical of that book’s credibility.
            7. I’m not very familiar with the term, but the concept is very interesting and I’ve wondered about it a lot. I definitely believe that God is the ultimate cause for everything, but as a human with a limited mind I cannot completely understand how He works his power.

          • ah, you don’t like the ‘cat man’. so you are shia?
            yes I approach all things simplistically. if my electronics don’t work, I first look to see if it is plugged in. then I go to the next simplest thing. have you never heard of KISS?
            how do I assume I know everything about it. you are the one assuming. as Socrates once said, ‘I am a wise man for I know I know nothing.’ it is you muslims who claim to know ‘the truth’.
            that is a lot of links and I’m about to go to bed. i’ll check them out tomorrow, insha allah.
            ‘fire doesn’t burn the cotton, allah burns the cotton’.
            you have a good night.


    • We can see the American Freedom of speech perfectly in the cases of opressing minorities or in historic cases of eliminating the natives. Nothing wrong with building houses on the graves of previous inhabitants. They won,t complain because you know why. The woman above seems to be a terrorist, a perfect decision had to be made to protect homeland

      • how is America not following our ideals? the woman was arrested. the nation and the government are not eliminating the attacked woman’s freedom of speech.

  • Freedom of speech was introduced by our Prophet Muhammed Sallahu Alayhi Wassalam. He showed how to respect women and free slaves. America is a joke only copy what was introduced in Islam hundreds of years before they classed themselves as Land of freedom


      • I know what my books states. It’s arrogant people like you who portray our peaceful religion to something the is quite clearly based on narrow minded people like you.
        There’s billions of people out there who know Islam for what its beautiful message. We didn’t see black person as a slave we learnt from our religion to free the slave. Our Prophet showed how to free them and respect the women as mother daughter and a wife.

        I think am well aware with what Islam is and thank you I am a grown-up. It’s not me going round and making hateful comment like a immature arrogant racist. 🙂 by the way our Prophet Character was the most glorious of all human man kind. Dumb wits like you are just dumbstruck so you act out in hate. HATERS WILL ALWAYS BE HATERS X

        • READ YOUR BOOK. You have been marinated in lies your whole life. It always shows when someone has not read their book. If they do, they are shocked beyond belief. Then the really honest ones read the Bible, and see exactly where Islam has stolen and corrupted all of Gods word to mean the opposite. A few clues. Jesus is NOT just a man, He will NOT come back in end times to kill the JEWS, they are Gods chosen, as are the Christians who came later. Finally Islam has taken ALL of the sinless beautiful qualities of Jesus and applied them to murderous mhmd. Then the final insult they tell you that OUR book is corrupt. Of course it is. The Quran IS the Corruption of The Holy Bible. READ YOUR BOOK/HADITSH AND BIBLE..SEE FOR YOURSELF

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