A woman living in a suburb of Atlanta was attacked outside her home by a Muslim woman wearing traditional Islamic dress. According to Dami Arno, “A lady walked out of our woods in a full burqa, full attire, stares at us for a minute, then grabs my American flag off of my mailbox and charges towards us with it, just swinging it with all her might.” The attack occurred on Memorial Day, when many Americans fly the Stars and Stripes to recall the sacrifice of soldiers and sailors.
Arno recalled that the Muslim woman was at least 6-foot-2 in height and quite strong. When Amina Ahra grabbed the American flag and attacked, the two women grappled.
Arno’s daughter, Brittany (17), jumped into the affray. Seeking to defend his mother and sister, Arno’s 14-year-old son grabbed the family gun. “When she came charging, it was kinda like momma bear instincts kicked in. She had to protect her children,” daughter Brittany said. Arno exhibited bruises on her arm from the assault.
Neighbors came to Arno’s aid to defend her from the assailant. They held down the Muslim woman, who they had not seen before, until Gwinnet County law enforcement officers arrived. The 30-year-old burqa-wearing Ahra was arrested and charged on two counts of simple battery after being accused of attacking Arno and her daughter. Arno had been talking to her daughter in her garage when Ahra allegedly went on the warpath.
Arno told local Fox 5 that she is astonished that this could happen in America. Ahra told police that she is originally from Africa but did not provide any further personal information. The Atlanta metropolitan area has brought in in excess of 132,000 refugees from Somalia and thousands more from Sudan over the last two decades. Atlanta, like Minneapolis, has a large Somalia refugee community.
Ahra “never uttered a word and seemed possessed,” the mother and daughter told the local Fox television station. “I have friends who have fought and died for the red, white and blue. When she took it down, it was not disrespect, it was not a slap in the face, it was a punch to the gut,” Arno said. Residents are upset that the Muslim woman was charged with simple battery instead of a hate crime.
The U.S. State Department has settled 4,054 Somali refugees to the state of Georgia since 2002, in concert with the United Nations. For its part, Lawrenceville has received 21 Somalis during that time, while Atlanta has received 1,203, Clarkston has received 437, Decatur 1,039, and Stone Mountain 1,096.