WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Outrage ensued on social media after a Facebook user posted a video that shows a woman berating another shopper for being Muslim.
People have watched the video almost five million times since Sunday.
Facebook user Jeremy McLellan Comedy said it all happened at a Trader Joe’s in Reston, Virginia, on Saturday.
“I wish they didn’t let you in the country,” the woman said.
The other shopper, who McLellan said is Muslim, said, “Excuse me?” and told the woman she was born in the United States.
The woman replied, “Oh, were you?”
McLellan says his friend wanted people to know these kind of verbal attacks happen, but worried publicity would make her even more of a target.
“It's something that's actually happening in the U.S.,” said McLellan. “It's happening more. And you should believe people when they tell you there's a real problem going on in this country.”
Trader Joe's shoppers were surprised this kind of thing could happen.
“I don't think it really matters what you believe in or where you're from,” said a woman who did not want to give her name. “There's a human kindness. And that should be everywhere.”
Most of the thousands of comments online have supported the victim, but some took the other woman's side. McLellan says he does not understand that.
“If anyone was threatened in that scenario, it was my friend," he said.
McLellan says he was worried that it was going to turn into a physical confrontation. He says his friend finally moved to another line to get away from the woman.
He says it started when the woman who’d slipped to the front of the line started disparaging another woman in a head scarf who had walked into the Trader Joe’s. The victim told her, “I’m a Muslim too.”
She then said, “Obama’s not in office anymore,” and made other comments about the former president.
It apparently started when McLellan’s friend let the woman in front of her because she was in a hurry. The woman started talking badly about a different Muslim woman in the store, McLellan said, questioning why his friend didn’t cover as well.
That’s when his friend, who wished to remain anonymous, started recording.
“You look a little crazy, maybe you need to get some help,” McLellan’s friend eventually said to the woman.
“Oh, I’m fine,” she replied.
"All of the sudden millions of people have a window to look at what Muslim women have to go through, just for being Muslim, and being dressed according to Islamic tradition," said Nihad Awad, with the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR.
Awad said it has had 10 times the number of harassment complaints compared to last year, more than 1,500 complaints since January.
"Many bigoted people felt empowered by what Donald Trump has done," Awad said. "It is very unfortunate. It is unconstitutional."
WUSA9 reached out to the Trader Joe’s in Reston for confirmation that this incident happened in that store but has not yet received a response.
At this time, WUSA9 has not been able to confirm this video with anyone other than the person who posted it to Facebook. This is a developing story and will be updated as information becomes available.
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