Mother says she was attacked in Starbucks for wearing a hijab: 'America, do better'

A Starbucks logo hangs over a store entrance in Washington, DC June 11, 2019. (Photo: EVA HAMBACH / AFP)

A Muslim woman in Dallas, Texas claims that she was physically and verbally attacked at a Starbucks, while her young children watched and while witnesses and employees did nothing to defend her.

Nur Ashour, a popular food blogger, shared a series of tweets on June 16, describing how a woman allegedly attacked her for wearing a hijab as Ashour’s kids — 8 months and 3 years — watched.

Ashour, a first-generation Palestinian-American, alleges that the incident occurred after the woman behind her in line bumped into her. Ashour turned around to apologize when, she says, the woman "grabbed a ton of coffee sleeves and threw them then continued to yell at me that I better be sorry. Continued to yell at me and say I needed to leave then followed me out."

"The sad part was it was [Starbucks] and not a single employee or bystander said a word to her. She threw things in my face and said horrific things," Ashour tweeted. "Had the roles been reversed, I guarantee the reactions would have differed."

The 25-year-old mother left the coffee shop because she was afraid for her children's safety and approached a security guard. As he approached her, the woman went to the guard and claimed that Ashour had thrown things at her.

"It's on camera," Ashour wrote. "Obviously racist. Obviously a liar... I was terrified and crying."

Ashour says that one man, standing beside her while inside, said that he was sorry, while everyone else simply watched the scene.

"It's really sad that I have to explain to my 3 year old that people can hate someone so much because of their religion or the way they dress," Ashour wrote. "This is such a small thing compared to the hatred other Muslims experience on a daily basis. America, do better."

Nur Ashour, when reached for comment, requested privacy at this time and directed Yahoo Lifestyle to a statement provided by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Dallas/Fort Worth (CAIR-DFW) on her behalf.

The CAIR-DFW, a Muslim civil-rights organization, is asking for any witnesses of the incident to come forward and to report the attack to police.

"American Muslims, and particularly Muslim women, face an increased threat from Islamophobes," CAIR-DFW Legal Director Dontrey Tatum, who is the victim's legal representative, said in a statement. "We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime."

"Hate crimes are on the rise throughout the United States, including here in Dallas," said CAIR-DFW Interim Executive Director Ekram Haque. "Earlier this year at the Dallas Reunion Tower, another American Muslim woman was verbally and physically attacked apparently based on her identity as a Muslim woman."

A spokesperson for Starbucks told Yahoo Lifestyle that they have since spoken with Ashour regarding the incident and that any type of discriminator behavior is not acceptable in their stores. The spokesperson clarified that their employees are encouraged to quickly address any instance of unacceptable behavior by a customers, such that Ashour allegedly experienced, and attempt to diffuse the situation.

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