A Muslim woman, who wears the niqab, spoke of her fear after being racially abused and called a “f*cking terrorist” by two men when returning to her car after leaving work.
The incident occurred in the Lancashire area on October 10, Tell MAMA has declined to reveal the precise location of the incident to protect their identity.
One of the men called her a “f*cking terrorist” as she began to climb a stairway into the car park.
The gendered nature of the abuse, coupled with their physical prowess – with each man standing at around 6ft, compared to her smaller stature – at around 5ft, only added to her sense of fear and intimidation which resulted in an increased walking pace.
Before reaching the safety of her vehicle, however, one of the men shouted, “f*cking P*ki b*stard” at her.
The woman, who wears the niqab, is a white convert, and such abuse demonstrates how racialisation is less about the biology of race and more to do with a ‘radical’ form of othering, which, can go beyond hate crime and verbal abuse, and into acts of discrimination that curtail the fundamental rights of Muslims in the UK. For example, in 2017, Tell MAMA documented two cases where Muslim women who wear the niqab were told to remove their face veils when attending school open days with their children as staff cited ‘security reasons’. A clear example of how othering can result in viewing Muslims through the lens of ‘securitisation’.
It’s also a further example of how racialised abuse directed at Muslim women often relates to their outward Islamic identity and reinforces what academics have argued: that some perpetrators make no distinction between Muslims and their faith.
The woman has not reported the incident to Lancashire Police but wanted to report to Tell MAMA in confidence, adding, that since wearing the niqab, has experienced more abuse and harassment: including being sworn at when in supermarkets; such is the everyday ‘low-level’ nature of abuse.
She described the perpetrators as being white males in their late thirties.
A rising number of reports to Tell MAMA – of threatening behaviour, abuse, violence, and discrimination has prompted the release of an interim report, covering the first six months of 2018, further demonstrates the gendered and intersectional nature of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.