Muslim shopper wearing a hijab harassed by woman at grocery in New Mexico, US

Barney Lopez could hear the woman from across the Smith’s grocery store aisles.
“You’re a terrorist. Get out of here,” the woman, wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, screamed at a female shopper wearing a hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women.
“I left my cart to see what was going on,” Lopez said.
The woman in the cap was pointing at the woman in the hijab, yelling “every racist thing you could imagine to say,” store manager Andrew Castillo said Friday.
“Pretty quickly, people started shouting at the lady in the baseball cap to stop and leave her alone, that she (the woman in the cap) was being the terrorist here and we don’t want her here,” Lopez said.
One shopper walked to the Muslim woman’s side to support her.
Others called 911 and took pictures for evidence, if needed.
Employees at the store at Yale and Coal SE stepped in front of the screaming woman, who pushed so close to them they could smell the alcohol on her breath.
“Usually, we get some people that are mentally ill and we have to get them out and they’ll leave. But she was adamant about getting her message across, but it wasn’t a message any of us wanted to hear,” Castillo said.
That sentiment and his actions, along with the shoppers’ and employees’ support of the woman, earned praise on Friday from the Council on American-Islamic Relations civil rights group.
“Normally, we would issue a negative release calling for a hate crime probe, but because of the reaction of the store staff, I think it was appropriate to thank the staff because it sounds like they went above and beyond what is called for in these situations,” said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.
About five store employees walked the Muslim woman to her vehicle, making sure she wasn’t targeted by the woman, who had exited the store but remained in the parking lot area.
The raving woman finally walked away.
About five minutes later, Castillo said, police arrived and attempted to track down the woman.
Albuquerque police did not respond to a request for information on the incident.

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