A racist man coughed in the face of a Muslim woman and told her he had the coronavirus (Covid-19) before calling her a ‘raghead’ after she challenged him.

The Metropolitan Police are investigating the assault which occurred on March 18 in South London.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, the white Muslim woman, who wears the hijab, agreed to have her story told anonymously.

She described how she did her best to avoid him when walking in the high street, but the man turned towards her and got in her face.

Following the assault, she informed him, that after already experiencing Covid-19 and that she could not catch it again, he swore at her and used the racial slur ‘raghead’ before leaving.

This assault demonstrates how the racialisation of Muslims and their religious clothing, harms all Muslims, irrespective of their ethnicity.

The gendered nature of this abuse and violence demonstrates the intersecting influence of misogyny, given the gendered stereotypes of Muslim women who wear the hijab (or other forms of religious clothing) as being ‘meek and submissive’, are themes explored in various Tell MAMA annual reports.

She described the man as being white, who was in his mid-to-late thirties.

The assault has left the woman feeling anxious and fearful of a similar attack, though the lockdown has created a sense of safety.

Tell MAMA is monitoring the investigation and will continue to assist if needed.

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