A group of teenage Muslim girls was having iftar at a restaurant in Chicago when a white man started verbally harassing them and spewing xenophobic statements.
The incident was recorded in a video that has been circulating online, having been shared by the stepfather of one of the girls, Sean Anthony, on Facebook this Tuesday.
According to Anthony's post, the confrontation took place at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant, where the five girls were breaking their Ramadan fast. An elderly man began verbally harassing one of them, saying that she is "so big she'd break a camel's back".
Despite their young age, the girls stood up for their friend and confronted the man. The interaction escalated to what was captured in the video.
In the video, the man is seen telling two of the girls, who don the Islamic headscarf, to "go and beat it". He went on to say, "If you don’t like this country, leave."
"It’s our home, too. What do you mean 'leave'?" Anthony's 17-year-old stepdaughter, Sawin Osman, who's been living in Illinois her entire life replied.
"I just said she was a big one. What's the problem? ... Anything else?" the man said. "Yeah, you're disgusting," one of the girls said to the man as they walked away.
The man then rose from his seat and began shouting after them, using degrading expletive language.
They were "very scared," Osman said, according to local Chicago news outlet Dna Info. "It looked like he was ready to physically attack us. (...) We were just going out to dinner. Why did he have to ruin our time?"
No one intervened to defend the girls. The man's female companion remained silent and unmoved throughout the whole encounter, as did everyone else at the restaurant, Mic.com reported.
"Sick to my stomach"
Not intervening is offensive, too
The irony ...
Is Donald Trump's xenophobic rhetoric to blame?
With the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. under President Donald Trump, incidents such as this one are becoming a common occurrence.
Less than two weeks ago, Jeremy Joseph Christian fatally stabbed two men and injured a third in Oregon after the latter intervened to defend two Muslim girls the perpetrator had been insulting.
Hate crimes against Muslims spiked by 67 percent in the U.S. in 2015, which happens to be the year Trump launched his election campaign.
In just the first 100 days of Trump's presidency, Islamophobic incidents at U.S. borders rose by 1,035 percent.
2016 was a "banner year for hate", a The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announced in an official report earlier this year. The report states that 2016 saw the highest number of anti-Muslim hate groups and the greatest surge in the number of such groups since the center began documenting them in 2010.