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Woman in viral confrontation with ASU faculty member speaks out

TEMPE, Ariz. (CNN, KYMA/KECY) - Tensions are high at some universities across the country between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protesters.

Not only that, a former Arizona State University (ASU) faculty member has been accused of insulting a Muslim woman and it was caught on video.

Now, the woman filmed during the confrontation with the faculty member says she was trying to help another woman wearing a keffiyeh.

"I was riding my bike to Whole Foods. I was just going on a grocery trip," said Layla, who didn't share her real name due to her safety.

Layla's grocery run was about to go very differently.

"I saw the protest. I was going to avoid it because I, you know, just didn't want to get involved. Had nothing to do with me...but when I saw this woman standing by herself, I also noticed two men," Layla revealed.

It was during a pro-Israel march down University Drive in Tempe two weeks ago. Layla says she doesn't know what happened before she got there, but there was a woman she stopped to help.

"Trying to get a response out of us. And we were being very like, you know, trying to just keep everything neutral. But they just kept pressing, and it started to become very, very uncomfortable," Layla shared.

The man in the video is former ASU Research Scholar Jonathan Yudelman. Former because ASU said he had already quit.

"In that moment...I genuinely didn't know how to, like, do anything because he just kept coming after me," Layla expressed.

After the video went viral, ASU President Michael Crow said Yudelman wasn't allowed on campus and would never teach at the university again.

"I was scared because he was taking advantage of the fact that I was younger and, you know, potentially weaker than him," Layla further expressed.

When asked if she wished she hadn't stopped, Layla said, "No, I don't think so, because I couldn't imagine what might have happened if nobody else showed up."

Article Topic Follows: Arizona News

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