February 5, 2016

Woman who grew up in Kenya attacked in a US restaurant for speaking Swahili

Print Friendly


A woman who grew up in Kenya was attacked by an American woman at an Applebee’s restaurant in Minnesota for not speaking “American”.

Asma Mohammed Jama also known as Mishy Ojama who is originally from Somalia but spent most of her time in Kenya before immigrating to the US was attacked after a woman identified as Jodie Marie Burchard-Risch, 43, and her husband became upset after hearing the victim speaking in Swahili, a language commonly used in Kenya and it’s East African neighbors.

Burchard-Risch woman started yelling and insulting Mishy who had gone to the restaurant accompanied by her husband and her friends and their children.

Upon becoming aware of the commotion, a restaurant manager stepped in and tried to get Burchard-Risch to leave.

Charges filed in a MN court state that she refused and continued to yell at the victim and threw her drink at the woman. Then she “smashed” her beer mug across the Asma’s face in a “round house punch” motion and fled the scene, according to the complaint.

One of the restaurant’s managers followed Burchard-Risch out of the restaurant until she was arrested by responding officers.

She was charged with third-degree assault.

Police met with Asma inside the restaurant and noticed a deep cut across her nose, a cut on her right eyebrow and a large, deep cut on her lower lip.

Asma suffered trauma all over her face due to this attack. Her injuries required 15 stitches all over her face with busted lips, cut on top of her eye brow and cuts all over her face.

She is currently going through care dealing with her injuries.


Family and friends are raising money to cater to Asma’s medical expenses.


Any donation received will go directly to her well-being.


Please follow the link below to assist.



Photos courtesy

Asma1 Asma2 Asma3 Asma4

  • This is a damned shame!

  • Daniel Monari

    This develish woman will not only be tossed like rotten meat in a criminal court but will also be slapped with thousands of dollars in a civil suit which she will have to pay her hated victim.

    • don Roberto

      Providing an attorney to an indigent defendant is one of the things a civilized country does. To face the full weight of the State’s power without one is manifestly unfair .

    • Ellen Cameron

      The attacker’s last name is Burchard-Risch. I wonder if she speaks any French? Or German? And as far as English goes (well, she specified “American;” I’m assuming she meant the American version of English) — the English we speak today bears little resemblance to the English of Chaucer or even Shakespeare, having begged, borrowed, and stolen countless words from other languages, including German, Norse, French, Latin-via-French, Italian, Tagalog (The Phillipines), Spanish, Greek, Persian, Romany (Gypsy), Yiddish, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, various Native American, Inuit, and Arabic. I don’t *know* of any we’ve borrowed from Kiswahili — but it wouldn’t surprise me. The attacker (and most likely her husband also) is an ignorant, bigoted, and frightened person who will be facing some serious charges in court. I’m pretty sure that she will end up being held responsible for the medical costs. Sadly, I have doubts that this experience will change her mind; in fact, it may make her feel like a victim instead, because she will never face her own faults. However: be assured that the majority of us ABSOLUTELY DO NOT agree with her — and do take note that the restaurant employees actually cared enough to chase her down and keep track of her until police could take her into custody.

      • Joyce Jura

        There is a swahili word you’ve borrowed. You know that game called “Jenga”? It is swahili which simply means ‘to build’

        • Edwin

          Safari also is Swahili meaning journey

    • lusu

      Asante Sana Dada.

  • kitukujump

    It’s sad. Apparently this will be like many we have seen. When it’s a black person it’s a thug. But for the white it will be mental illness.

  • Julie

    Look at this criminal’s record! There is no way the victim will receive any amount in a civil case. Yet, Asma will need many surgeries to repair the wounds from her assault. This should be a 2nd degree case in my opinion. I don’t know you Asma, but I am so sorry that this happened to you for simply speaking one of the world’s most beautiful languages in Minnesota. I agree, Applebees should also have compensation for you. <3

  • This is sad indeed God forbid there are evil people out there who have hatred to other humanity I’m afraid I can’t eat at Apple bees anymore the manager should have called the police when she didn’t stop yelling at another customer what a shame!

  • pashua

    what! this world is full of hatred why hurt somebody for speaking her language and who are you even to control that! its a shame am disgusted

  • Mwalimu Thuku wa Njuguna

    Kiswahili now has its very first documented case of “linguistic” discrimination.
    Kiswahili kitukuzwe….

  • Abdullahi

    I am a Kenyan Somali, and this story of Asma makes me unhappy of some sort of people living in America like this brutal racist. Kiswahili is my National Language, my heritage and my pride. If more racist like her still have the appetite of attacking anyone who speaks Swahili, I am sure the second one should be their President Obama, because he happened to speak Kiswahili in his recent visit to Kenya. I wish the dirty racist should have seen her president speaking the language that she hated so much. Contrary, I believe the poor racist had not been given the opportunity to see the language Obama spoke and so many Americans adored, by the greedy American media that only shows hate of other creatures to their peaple. We believe America is bigger than few racist, but should cater for the expenses and should be charge for attemt of marder of course she could have killed Asma were they alone.!

    • ash

      bc she’s white

  • Aminah

    This is sad, that this hate continues and when some folks don’t understand something it just brings about more hate. Unfortunately we Muslims should know not to eat in places where alcohol is served and consumed. The Quran tells us to keep away from it. Regardless, this was wrong and this woman should be sued and the establishment should be sued also.

  • Kamel

    This is the kind of people who is supporting Donald Trump and promoting hate .

  • Fred

    So sad, huu niubaguz au vp, sheria ifate mkondo

  • Rev Antony K Nganga

    Am praying for her quick recovery and justice to prevail.
    Let’s comfort her at this painful, tormenting moment.

  • Shakes Wainaina

    Swahili is a soft spoken language that many people are dying to know.
    Don know realy why that wicked woman acted that, or maybe there was
    something else behind that. Anyway that was very sad to Mishy, n wish u
    a quick recovery.

    • Joel

      Normal people do act this way. It happens all the time. Most mentally ill people are not violent, please do not paint them with this woman’s racist brush.

  • Es Kei

    Very sad indeed justice should be applied without fear or favor

  • james

    Unfortunately swahili is our national language here in africa east west

  • janice

    Shame on her we are all equal as human beings before God.may i remind her she is not more American than her because America is a land of immigrants

  • Patrick

    We all know where all the hate is coming from. And we should forgive and forget coz some morrons takes things so literal thanks to Donald now kenyans in america will really have to watch their backs

  • She was only jealousy.

  • mizhgan ovais khan

    We Muslims are just as humans as the others living on this earth. I dont understand the reason for this hatered. Its sad seeing the world hating us for no reason.

    • Naomi

      So sad!

  • Hamidah

    Bitch needs to be jailed! FYI. .there is no language like American. Africa has different dialects and we proud. Daaaamn she is lucky she didn’t find crazy bitches like me..

  • Pure ignorance. If this woman was white the damn fool wouldn’t have done a thing. This a hate crime and she should be charged as one.

  • ahmed

    This act is totally barbaric behaviour. Insulting innocent person.i pray Allah let the viictim quick recovery and the papeterator let her taste the law.i don’t see speaking kiswahili is not a problem unles something else behind the scenes .

  • This woman should be made to foot the medical bill since one has to pay for his/her actions

  • Dagne

    so sad

  • Very sad you know. It seems like the midwest is worse than the south now. What’s up with that? On the other hand there are good people the midwest who are against hate crime like this. There are lots of Somalian in Minnesota maybe they don’t like that. may she be at peace and the most be with her. Now you see this all Somalians who always says they aren’t Africans because they got some priveleges given to them? As long you are brown. dark, black you are Africans your Somalians need to wake up and stop being brianwashed about you aren’t Africans. Anywhere you go in the World as you are black you are Africans so keep denying your true self keep chasing acceptance where it’s not due. It’s time to wake! We pray for this woman and please don’t be afraid white people because of this. There lots good one but verify how good they are. Love yourself and believe in your dreams.

  • Sunshine

    Americans are a hateful people. They hate each other and they hate “others”. They kill each other in their schools and in movie theaters. What a miserable culture. Listen to their politicians. All they do all day long is spew hate at each other and against others. Look at what Trump says about Latinos and what Carson says about Muslims. These are the elite in America and they show the true colors of this filthy nation that claims they are the greatest. Hate hate hate is all what describes Americans

  • Alinory Kwena

    It’s very unfortunate ,sad and inhumane when human beings turn out to be wild animals that behaves as if they’re alegic to humans. The feeling of superiority complex by the whites is fast growing, and soon or later it may end up leading the world into skin color wars just like the way we’re witnessing wars between Christians and Moslems…
    God above us All.

  • There is no American language i think the fat pig who hit the poor women is dreaming and want language for white trush who stole USA continent from native americans.

  • n.moosberger

    What role did the people inside the restaurant play??? OR did they just sit and watch this racist behaviour??? One would think that the people inside the restaurant had a role to play to stop this racial behaviour.

    • I’m asking myself the same thing
      where was the friends and husband having lunch with her??

  • n.moosberger

    Very brutal indeed. You don`t even treat animals like that!!!!

  • Ummjay

    Is this real? Husband and friends were there? Why didn’t they all stand their ground?

  • Chimon

    I think 3rd degree assult is not enough. I am not a fan of the death penalty but this case in particular I will make am exception. Why her husband was not charged with anything? I wonder if the judge really knew what that bitch did

  • Bonface Atemba

    Ni vibaya sana every person has a right to talk is own language. Also all of us we are equal before the eyes of God.God created man from his own image. the difference is colour period.kht!

  • Said Atom

    i do not like any prejudist whether they are white, black or any other colors. The thing is not about your color, it’s about who you are.

  • Klugga

    I hate white pple, this pple think they r any special_ but get it-YOU AIN’T.

  • ahmed kidole

    pole dada sanaa. bitch. was. jealous

  • White trash you give a bad name to your own people, how dare she do that infront of kids how dare she. Why hate on other cultures, languages, relugions were all going to die separate shame on you, shame I hope God ounishes you as u deserve it. Shame shame shame

  • Jan

    The speed of which this happened may have prevented the husband and friends from stepping in. Do not judge what you didn’t see. The children had to be protected too, don’t forget their presence. As to the character of the attacking woman; first she throws her drink, then uses the mug as a weapon, yes she needs help and in my opinion should have received harsher consequences. Sounds like a rage, from who knows where, overcame her and she placed it on the innocent.
    As far as medical bills and care go, the attacker is generally made to pay restitution to cover this. However, often times, it does not get paid and unfortunately the medical community (business), (not the service workers, Drs., nurses, assistants, orderly , lab personnel ect.) Does not care how you received your injury. They want their money now.
    This is a sad and horrific time in this victims life. And the life of her family, I have much empathy for them.
    I hope and pray she is able to get proper care and therapy.

  • Nathan

    The husband should have stomped the bitch in the floor

  • Joe

    Not all white community is inhuman . It’s just a few elements. So don’t be so fast to judge the misconduct of one associating it with the rest.I happened to to come across one white gentleman at the fueling station who was interested in the 2015 sprinter van was driving and the company I work for.when he realized I had an accent and I own it he was eager to know where I was from..told him am from Kenya,how many languages are there?he asked..42 was my answer.English official and Swahili national.He was so so happy.Time bound me to teach him more of the diversity in our beloved country kenya.I wish I can meet him again