Muslim-American Woman’s Calm Response to Verbal Harassment Goes Viral

asma elhuni atlanta
Photo: Facebook

A video of a woman arguing with a man in a coffee shop has gone viral after she posted the exchange on Facebook.

“I was just literally on my computer, minding my business, and I look up and see a guy with a camera pointing at me,” Asma Elhuni told Creative Loafing.

The exchange happened at Joe’s Coffee Shop in East Atlanta Village. Elhuni says that the man, who calls himself Rob in the video, took a picture of her. At the beginning of the clip, we can see him holding his phone.

“You like taking pictures?” Elhuni asks him, “you like taking pictures of me in particular?” Rob then sits down near her and asks, “Why are you so uptight?”

“I’d like to know why you’re coming in here taking a picture of me,” she responds.

The man says: “I’m standing in a coffee shop, which I thought was interesting. I see this guy sitting here looks like he’s the DJ, and I thought it was a really chill place, so being from Detroit I took a shot of the coffee shop and that guy sitting there, who’s obviously not the DJ, and we were going to have a laugh. I was going to share that on Facebook. And then you started acting like a bitch.”

It’s then that things gets heated, and after an exchange of words, Rob finally asks, “Do you have a green card?” before getting up and walking out.

Elhuni, 39, a Muslim women who wears a hijab, is in fact an American citizen and a Georgia State University political science graduate student. She’s also a legislative intern for State Rep. Brenda Lopez.

The exchange hit social media just as President Trump’s travel ban on foreign nationals from Muslim majority countries goes into effect. Protests across the country have sprung up in response, and several federal judges have moved to halt implementation of the order.

The video has been viewed nearly half a million times, and an outpouring of public support for Elhuni has come from Atlanta locals and Internet commentators alike. Bosco Palapava writes on Facebook, “I am so sorry that this man treated you so poorly. I admire your courage and restraint.”

One Mais T Salman-AbuJrees posted a screenshot in the comments on the video. The photo shows the same coffee shop and a message from a Rob Koehler describing the incident as him being “confronted by a Muslim activist.” In the post, it appears he is apologizing for his interaction with her.

Joe’s Coffee Shop has issued a statement on Facebook saying “There is a video floating around on Facebook of an encounter with one of our dear customers and a man saying horrible things to her. We DO NOT condone such behavior and are, frankly, disgusted by it. Joe’s is a welcoming place, a SAFE space for people of all races, colors, and sex, ETC. If you are ever in our store and feel threatened or uncomfortable please tell a staff member. PLEASE remember to love people and show kindness always.”

“Fight back with your cameras y’all.” writes Elhuni on Facebook.

Related: Women Scared to Wear Hijabs in President-Elect Trump’s World

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