SHAFAQNA – A Muslim woman wearing a hijab was brutally punched in the face in Birmingham city centre in England, in what is thought to be an Islamophobic attack.
Choudhury, 18-year-old, who did not want her first name published, said she had been left shocked after the assault, which happened as she was walking along New Street.
Her attacker, who was wearing a grey hooded top, just came up to her and punched her in the street.
After the incident, West Midlands Police (WMP) have appealed for witnesses to the attack, which happened recently and said they were treating it as a ‘hate crime’.
Chaudhary who is a student said the traumatic experience means that she is now scared to walk through the city centre by herself.
She said: “I feel shocked and really scared that someone could attack you for no reason. I don’t feel safe at all now.
“I was walking to the train station to meet some friends when someone shoved me from behind.
“When I turned around he punched me in the face and then just went off.
“I was really upset afterwards. I can only think it was because he saw my hijab as he didn’t take my bag or anything.
“I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life and I’ve never experienced something like this before.”
The student suffered bruising but said the emotional impact has been more difficult to deal with than her physical injuries.
She fears Muslims are being increasingly targeted because of the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month.
She explained: “It’s made life harder for innocent Muslims. We don’t want people to be killed – that’s not our religion. Our religion is all about peace.
“My parents are so scared that they’re telling me to take my hijab off. My mum’s telling me to wear a hat instead.”
Choudhury said one thing, which would make her feel safer, is seeing more police on the streets. West Midlands Police confirmed they were investigating the attack.Det Sgt Reg Collett said: “We take all reports of hate crimes extremely seriously and I would urge anyone with information about this assault to come forward.”