TELL MAMA in conjunction with SARI, based in Bristol, assisted Hasina in a recent case when the young Hijab wearing woman was repeatedly spat at in the city. The case was highlighted here.
A few days ago, the perpetrator was sentenced to the following, a 12 months community order, 120 hours of unpaid work, a £250 compensation payout and £85 in costs. The attack on Hasina was also highlighted in the local press.
This is a statement from Hasina and from the partner body, SARI, who picked up the case with TELL MAMA and the result that sends a clear message that anti-Muslim bigotry will be taken to prosecution where possible.
“Ultimately this is about my human rights as a woman, choosing what to wear is a basic human right. It is my body and if I chose to cover it that’s my decision. There are lots of beautiful women who chose to cover their bodies and they should not live in fear of being attacked. What is frightening is that a small woman was attacked by a male in broad daylight in a public place, there were many onlookers who turned a blind eye and who did not even approach the woman to ask if she was OK. That is a very bad snapshot of society.
I hope other women come forward and report the attacks they have experienced.”
SARI’s statement re: Hasina’s case:
Alex Raikes MBE, Interim Director of Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI) says, “We have been supporting Hasina with regards to this appalling incident and working with her to achieve justice for the attack she faced and to overcome the trauma it has caused her. Hasina has also been supporting SARI with the work we are doing to prevent this sort of abuse and to foster respect for all faith communities.
This is an Islamophobic incident where a complete stranger decided they could assault someone just because they of their faith and the way they dress.
This attack was not just on Hasina – it was on her family and her entire community. It was on all people who are Muslim.
The United Kingdom is proud that it is a free country where people are entitled to freedom of their religion or belief, their customs and their way of life. We are a country that has strong laws about equality and human rights including people having a choice to celebrate their religion of choice.
In this case a woman’s human rights were violated. No one should be attacked because of who they are.
The majority of British people are tolerant and embracing of difference and it is very sad that just a few individuals choose to be so hostile to their fellow human beings rather than enjoy and celebrate the diverse world they live in.
SARI asks that all Bristol residents who read this article do all they can to stop hate crime and racist abuse. This means not walking by when they see someone being bullied, harassed or attacked but speaking out and saying this is wrong.
SARI is seeing a rise in unprovoked attacks on Muslim communities. 40% of our caseload (500 cases in 2013-2014) were Muslim. We also find that perpetrators of this abuse will target anyone they perceive to be Muslim even if they are not. We have seen attacks on taxi drivers and many on women and children who, like Hasina, are just trying to go about their normal lives. This includes a mum with her two children being kicked and verbally, racially abused just because she was wearing Hijab while on the way to the shops and just last week we saw a Life Sentence imposed on another male who attempted to murder a Somali man because he is Muslim. He is now in a coma and unlikely to recover. We are supporting his family with the horrendous impact this has had on their lives”.