A middle-aged man and woman assaulted a Muslim girl for wearing a hijab in Sheffield, UK: “When she was strangling me, I thought I was going to die.”
The incident was caught on camera and the video was later posted on Twitter. In the footage, a group of students at least four of whom are veiled, argue with the woman on a parked bus before the woman attacked two of the girls.
A Muslim schoolgirl was beaten up and racially abused by a woman in Sheffield, UK.
The woman was later arrested by police. pic.twitter.com/ZToFWrGCx7
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) December 7, 2019
The woman was accompanied by a 44-year-old male who allegedly started the incident by shouting racial slurs at one of the girls. A boy on the bus tried to defend the girl, but the woman shoved and punched him.
One of the victims of the attack, Redena Al Hadi, 14, attempted to stop the woman by telling her that the boy she hit is a minor, only aggravating the woman more. “I then tried to get all of the girls off the bus, but the woman came up to my face and started saying my hijab was making her sick. I felt really hurt. She pulled my head down and dragged me off the bus,” Al Hadi said in an interview with the Mirror.
Al Hadi’s 13-year-old sister, Wida, was also attacked, but Al Hadi became the focus of the woman’s aggression. The woman dragged Al Hadi off the bus by her hijab and repeatedly slapped and punched her while holding her to the ground. The man, as seen in the video, kept people away from the attack.
The sisters were both left with bruising and emotional trauma. Wida is not only afraid of going to school, but of leaving the house entirely. “When she was strangling me, I thought I was going to die,” Al Hadi told Metro.
Earlier that day, police investigated Nursery Tavern in Sheffield for a complaint concerning racial abuse by the same couple.
Police arrested the couple following the attack, but later released the woman with a caution as it was a “first offense.” The man remains in custody, waiting for possible court proceedings.
The sisters and their representative, Arshaid Bashir, were extremely upset with the Sheffield Police’s decision. According to Bashir, it was an “assault on a child where derogatory language had been used. It was a racially aggravated assault. There was serious harm to a child who was attacked due to her appearance.”
With only a warning, Al Hadi worries that the woman “could do this to another Muslim” and that “she shouldn’t be on the streets.” Al Hadi concludes, “I am now too scared to leave my house.”