Woman charged with spitting on Muslim family outside Jersey City polling place

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman was charged with spitting on and yelling racial slurs at a Muslim woman and her family at a polling place in Jersey City on Election Day.

One of the Egyptian-American victims was 25-year-old Asmaa Abdalla, a candidate running for a seat on the school board. Abdalla, her mother and her sister were trying to promote her campaign Tuesday outside of PS 24 on Virginia Avenue around 4:50 p.m. when they were allegedly yelled at by 31-year-old Shaquana Jones, who was working for another campaign.

Initially, Abdalla's mother was the target. Abdalla said the woman threatened to rip her hijab off.

"She said, 'Oh, go back to your country, you f***ing Muslim lady,' and, 'You don't know how to speak English," Abdalla's mother said.

The two daughters heard the verbal attack on her mother and approached to see if she was OK. That's when Jones allegedly turned on them.

"She just kept saying, 'I'm going to f*** you up. I'm gonna get my sister to f you up,' and stuff like that." Abdalla said. "She just kept threatening us."

The three women told Eyewitness News that Jones then called them punks, spit in their faces and walked away.

The women said they respect their religious values and refused to retaliate.

Eventually, police were called to calm the situation, and Jones, of Jersey City, was arrested near the school. She was charged with bias intimidation, simple assault and terroristic threats.

In response, the Council on American Islamic Relations posted a statement, saying, in part: "Hateful acts of violence such as those allegedly carried out in Jersey City on Tuesday cannot be tolerated and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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