Rashida Ali, the mother of 14-year-old Redena Al-Hadi, who was strangled with her own hijab on a crowded bus in Sheffield, feels ‘let down’ by the police after the female suspect escaped with a caution, Tell MAMA can reveal.
Speaking to our service, Ms Ali has also expressed fears about how they will get their daughters to school.
Ms Ali believes that the caution charge has let down Muslims nationwide.
Concerns were also raised about the conduct of the bus driver, who the family allege, failed to intervene to stop the racist abuse before it escalated to violence.
South Yorkshire Police have confirmed that the investigation is subject to a full review which includes re-interviewing witnesses, as officers remain in contact with the family and providing updates.
A video of the shocking assault went viral several days ago.
Tell MAMA can confirm that the incident began when the male perpetrator was continuously using the N-word in a raised voice towards Redena, her 13-year-old sister Wida, and other teens.
A male in the group then approached him and challenged the racist behaviour, only to be pushed in return. One of Ms Ali’s daughters then said it was wrong for him to push a child in such a manner.
A female friend in the group is then said to have been pushed in the chest by the man.
It was in this moment that the female perpetrator interjected herself into the narrative, spouting anti-Muslim and Islamophobic at Redena. One such statement included, “you make me sick when I look at you with that scarf on”.
Sensing a growing threat, Redena informed her sister and their friends to get off the bus, to escape further abuse.
Redena, however, found herself subjected to a sustained assault and was dragged off the bus by her head. Footage captured the moment she was punched and strangled after being pinned to the ground.
It was in this moment, of being strangled with her own hijab, that Redena thought she would die, in an interview given to The Mirror newspaper.
She also said: “I don’t want to go to school. How can an adult attack a child for wearing a hijab?”
It’s clear that the targeted nature of the comments on the bus, which did reference her hijab, was not incidental, but a prime motivating factor in this shocking racist attack.
The list of injuries to Redena includes heavy bruising, a possible cheek fracture, and pooled blood in one eye.
Her younger sister suffered bruising to one leg, which has left both of them, understandably, emotionally shaken.
South Yorkshire Police arrived at the scene at Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, on December 4 and arrested two individuals, one a 44-year-old man, and a 40-year-old woman on suspicion of racially aggravated assault and public order offences.
The woman was then given a caution due to it being her first offence, according to The Mirror.
Anyone with information, or who holds footage of the incident, is asked to call 101 or email email@example.com quoting incident number 601 of 4 December 2019.