Skip to main content

Attack on Londoner wearing hijab sparks outpouring of solidarity

Social media users react after 2 men pull hijab from London woman with one shouting 'you look more beautiful without it'
A 21 year old woman in London has become the latest victim of Islamophobia (AFP)

An attack on a young woman wearing a hijab by two men on a busy London street has sparked an outpouring of solidarity on social media.

The 21-year-old woman was attacked by two men who grabbed her from behind and attempted to remove her headscarf on Sunday in what police have called a racially motivated attack.

The woman confronted her attackers who fled when she began to call the police. She told the London Evening Standard: “I was shocked and then got angry I started shouting at him saying ‘how can you do that?’"

But she said she was dismayed that no one reacted to the attack or came to her aid.

“It was a busy high street but not one person tried to stop him. Not one person came to check if I was okay, if we needed help, nothing,” she told the Standard.

Many people on social media have since come out to express outrage and solidarity over the incident on Tottenham High Street. 

Community shock

'No longer feel safe'

In an interview with The Evening Standard, the victim herself has stated that she had not previously felt unsafe wearing the hijab in London but now it is "always in the back of my mind."

Others also took to social media to vent their dismay that such events were taking place in Haringey which is known for its ethnic diversity.

Broken English

The young woman described the incident saying, "I started feeling trapped and knew something was wrong so I asked him 'what's going on?' and he started pointing at my hijab."

"The other guy, who I couldn't see, came from behind and grabbed it shouting in broken English 'you look more beautiful without it'." 

The attack follows reports of an increase in racially motivated and Islamophobic attacks in the UK in the wake of the EU referendum on 23 June, with Muslim women wearing headscarves reported to be most likely to be victimised. In France the issue of Islamic dress has become a major political issue following the banning of modest swimwear known as the burkini in resort towns. 

London's Metropolitan police have called for witnesses to the assault to come forward with information. Eugene Ayisi, a Labour Party councillor in Tottenham, urged members of the public to help the police with their inquiries.