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Hijab-clad woman harassed in US,asked ‘do you have green card’

Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017,18:16 IST By anju A A A

Washington | A hijab-clad woman in the US was allegedly harassed and abused at a cafe by a man who asked her “do you have a green card”, the latest in a slew of incidents in which immigrants have been targeted following Donald Trump’s ‘visa ban’ on seven Muslim-majority nations.

A young Muslim-American woman filmed the moment she was harassed and called a b***h after a man took photos of her in an Atlanta coffee shop.

Asma Elhuni, 39, noticed the man, news outlets believe to be Rob Koehler, walk into Joe’s Coffee Shop and start taking pictures of her as she worked on her laptop.

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

Elhuni, an American citizen who is a Georgia State University political science graduate student and a legislative intern for State Representative Brenda Lopez, said at first she tried to ignore the man who allegedly began photographing her with his phone.

“I’m like, are you taking a picture of me? And he goes: ‘Yeah.’ Just like that! And so I was like: ‘OK, ‘ll take a picture of you.’ And he smiled, and I was like, OK, I’m going to videotape him now,” Elhuni said.

In the resulting video, Elhuni calmly asks the man, who is white, why he is taking pictures of her.

The man sits down close to Elhuni, claims he was taking pictures of the man behind her, and accuses her of being “uptight” and “acting like a b***h”.

He then asks “do you have a green card”, before another man who appears to be his friend ushers him away.

Elhuni posted the video on her Facebook page and it has since gone viral, with more than 90,000 views.

“Really what I wanted to show him was, one, what he did was inappropriate, and two, I’m not afraid of you. Because did you see how he sat down and got in my face? I knew my weapon was my camera,” she said.

At the coffee shop, several patrons and employees who witnessed the event firsthand quickly rallied around Elhuni, sitting down next to her, hugging her and buying her tea.

“It was hard to tell what was happening from across the room, but it was clear the guy was harassing her,” a witness was quoted as saying.

The harassment incident comes close on the heels of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning all entry into the US of nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Libya, where Elhuni is originally from.

An official statement posted on the Joe’s East Atlanta Facebook page in response to the incident reads, “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 behaviour and are, frankly, disgusted by it.”