A member of the public intervened to stop the racist abuse of a Muslim woman working as an Evening Standard vendor outside of a major London Underground station in East London.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, the man described, how, upon leaving the station, he witnessed two white women mocking the accent of a Muslim woman, who wears the hijab, as they made other derogatory remarks.

Angered but what he witnessed, the man intervened and challenged the two women. One of whom asked him ‘what his problem was’, to which, he replied that he would not tolerate any racist bullying and that he would be calling the police on 101, and the women soon left.

He then handed his phone to the Muslim woman who gave her details to the Metropolitan Police, adding that he was going to contact the Evening Standard to make them aware of the incident.

The Islamophobic and anti-Muslim incident occurred on September 3 at around 6:15 pm GMT.

The woman added that they had targeted her for abuse before, so, the man entered an adjacent shop and spoke with staff, requesting that they keep an eye out for the abusive women.

Tell MAMA continues to educate members of the public about how they safely intervene when hate crimes or hate incidents occur – from calling the police on behalf of individuals, speaking with victims when the perpetrator(s) leave and offering reassurance, to challenging the perpetrator when safe to do so.

The actions of the man to intervene are indeed welcome, and we respect his right to privacy.

Tell MAMA will not disclose the name of the station where this incident occurred to protect the identity of the Muslim woman impacted.

Such acts of solidarity, of upstanding behaviour are worth acknowledging and, where appropriate, worth celebrating. The yearly No2H8 awards celebrate and recognise the contributions of individuals and organisations who work to counter bigotry, hatred, and racism in all its forms.

Nominations for Upstanders in the fields of media, parliament, law enforcement, social research, community work, business, and local authorities are still open. Members of the public can also nominate in several other specialised categories – including lifetime achievement, young Upstander, and the Jo Cox Award. Previous winners include Luciana Berger MP, Ravinder Singh of Khalsa Aid, Ahmad Nawaz, Stop Funding Hate, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, Emma Roebuck, Stephen Brookes MBE, and many more.

Tell MAMA published its findings for 2018 earlier this week, and, consistent with previous reports, the targeting of Muslim women remains a disproportionate issue, as for the known/disclosed victims, the majority were female (57 per cent, n=721). Again, verified incidents to Tell MAMA were most likely to occur in public areas (n=209).

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