Rabat – Police arrested a man in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday, November 20, after he physically assaulted a pregnant Muslim woman at a cafe. Muslim groups are calling the assault an “Islamophobic attack.”
The cafe’s disturbing security footage shows the man approaching three women wearing headscarves as they sit at a table. The 43-year-old man then lunges over the table to attack a 31-year-old Muslim woman. The woman is 38 weeks pregnant, according to police.
The man repeatedly punches the woman until she falls to the ground, after which he proceeds to kick her and stomp on her head. Bystanders eventually restrain the assailant.
The woman was taken to a hospital and later discharged.
Police charged the man with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing an affray. The justice system has denied the man bail.
“This was clearly a racist and Islamophobic attack and we expect it to be treated as such,” said the president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).
AFIC added that witnesses heard the man yelling anti-Islamic hate speech at the victim and her friends.
While Sydney police did not explicitly classify the attack as a hate crime, they suggested that additional charges may be laid against the assailant after further investigation.