A mother and her daughter were walking through a local park in south London when a group of eight white men shouted anti-Muslim and Islamophobic slurs and threw stones at them.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, the daughter, who wishes to maintain their anonymity, described how the attack, which occurred on the afternoon of March 20, began when the men, noticing both women wear the hijab, shouted, “Allahu Akbar, you bombers” amid laughter and more abuse about their hijabs, and threw stones towards them.
She wanted to use her phone to call the police but felt unable to get away from the men, fearing they would snatch her phone at the moment, adding that her mother remained brave throughout the ordeal.
The men continued to follow them in a general direction but soon left, and out of necessity, the mother and daughter took a longer route to leave the park before returning home to speak with the police.
The daughter did not wear her hijab when leaving the house the following day, fearing further attacks or abuse.
The Metropolitan Police investigated the Islamophobic hate crime but closed the report, citing a lack of available CCTV, as the daughter hinted to our casework team that the men targeted them and picked an area lacking in cameras.
To protect their identities, we are not disclosing further identifying information – but they describe the area they live in as ‘heavily white’ – and as South Asian Muslims, had not faced such levels of violence and harassment before.
In 2018 alone, a clear majority of known perpetrators in verified reports to Tell MAMA were male (73 per cent, or 482 of 663), and 61 per cent were white men.
Gendered anti-Muslim and Islamophobic tropes about Muslim women who wear the hijab (or other forms of religious clothing) perpetuate harmful stereotypes about their apparent ‘meekness’, as other academic works explore the intersectional, racialised, and misogynistic targeting of Muslim women.