Asma Jama's powerful statement to woman who attacked her

Jodie Burchard-Risch, 44, of Ramsey, Minnesota was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison and up to five years of probation for assaulting a customer at the Coon Rapids Applebee’s for speaking Swahili instead of English in October 2015.

Asma Jama, the woman Burchard-Risch assaulted, read a statement to her attacker in court on Tuesday. 

Asma Jama’s statement to Jodie in court

Jodie, what you did to me that day wasn’t good. You should never do anything like that to anybody. But I just wanted to tell you in front of everybody today that I do forgive you.

My religion teaches me to forgive so I can get on with my life. If I hold a grudge, if 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.

I really do because it makes your life easier. Having hate just eats at you, it’s not good.  I hope you find what you’re looking for at the end of your journey. I know you’ve had just as long of a year as I’ve had. 

My intentions toward you are not bad. I don’t have any ill feelings towards you. I just want you to understand at the end of all this that we are all the same. It doesn’t matter what’s on my head, it doesn’t matter the color of my skin, we are all the same human beings, we are fighting for the same rights.

I am an American citizen and I would fight for it today as much as you would.  So I just want you to understand you hit somebody you didn’t know anything about.  I do speak English, I speak very well English, I work every single day just like you do, Jodie.

So I hope you learn at the end of all this we are all the same, there’s no difference between me and you.

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