A Muslim woman’s encounter with a man purportedly from Columbus while in an Atlanta coffee shop is going viral on social media.
In the video, Asma Elhuni, 39, is sitting in an Atlanta coffee shop when a man who is allegedly from Columbus takes her picture with his smartphone.
Elhuni, who wears a hijab, is videoing the encounter with her phone when she asks the man why he is taking her picture.
The man sits down near the woman and explains that he thought someone famous was in the shop and he thought it would be “chill” to come in, take a picture and put it on Facebook.
“But then you start acting like a bitch,” he says.
“Oh, so now I’m a bitch … because I asked you why you were taking my picture?”
Then the man leans in toward the woman and asks her if she has a green card.
“Do I have a green card?” she asks. “Do you think I’m not an American?”
Elhuni is reportedly an American citizen, a political science graduate of Georgia State University and works for a state legislator’s office.
As she is saying that, another man comes up, puts his hand on the man’s shoulder and persuades him to leave. As he turns to leave, the other man is facing the woman, smiling.
“This is your friend? I’d be ashamed,” the woman said, before turning toward the other man, who is opening the door to leave.
“Bye,” she says cheerfully.
The man has apparently been identified and his name has been widely disseminated on social media, as has the local company he allegedly works for.
A note on the company website says that the company has been made aware of the incident and will deal with it, but also said threatening messages that have been left will be forwarded to the “appropriate authorities.”
“We in no way condone what was said nor do we support racism in any way. This will be addressed once we have all the information. HR has been made aware of the situation and our Legal group will be as well.
“You are welcome to voice your opinion but we have received several calls threatening the business and employees. Please be aware that these calls are being turned over to the appropriate authorities.”
A man who answered the phone at the company said the man in question was “in a meeting.” When told that the caller was a reporter, he said the matter is being handled by the company’s “legal team,” and declined to confirm or deny whether the man being identified on social media was their employee.
After posting her video on her Facebook page, it received 90,000 views in just a few hours.
“Really what I wanted to show him was, one, what he did was inappropriate, and two, I’m not afraid of you,” Elhuni told Creative Loafing in Atlanta. “Because did you see how he sat down and got in my face? I knew my weapon was my camera.”
The venue where the situation took place, Joe’s East Atlanta Coffee Shop, addressed it on their Facebook page with this post:
“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.”