A group of teenagers repeatedly shouted ‘ISIS’ at a Muslim woman in the Lancaster area, hours after the terror attack on a London Underground train on 15 September.
Speaking to Tell MAMA staff, the woman, who wears the hijab, and attends the local university, was walking towards a bus stop, when a group of eight to ten teenagers, aged 14 or 15, began shouting at her as she passed an off-licence at around 7:30 pm.
The group made repeated references to terrorism, accusing the woman of being a ‘murderer’ and ‘terrorist’ as others shouted ‘ISIS’ at her.
No member of the public attempted to intervene or console her, which left her feeling ‘disconcerted’ when compared to other anti-Muslim abuse she has previously experienced.
She walked off in a hurry, hoping to get on the next available bus. The hate crime left her in tears several days later, she now worries about leaving her home.
In a statement given to our staff, she said:
“I think the most valuable thing taken away from me when this incident happened is my time. It took me a full week to feel like I can function normally again. Other than that, now I notice how wary I am in large crowds. I like socialising, and this has certainly affected me in the way I connect with other people. As a postgraduate student, many would agree with me if I say that you would be lucky to finish your degree without any major stress. This even has certainly added stress to my mental wellbeing and affected my study progress.
I choose to report this incident to Tell MAMA because the public should understand that this racist abuse is not something we can dismiss as a one-off incident. This is not the first time it happened to me, and sadly, this will not be the last. It is also not easy to discuss this incident with other people. I had mentioned about racist abuse towards hijabi’s once to a friend, but the reply was the question “perhaps you are being too sensitive?” It is not being too sensitive when you are racially abused for who you are and what you wear, in broad daylight, in public, it’s as simple as that.”