A group of teenagers made machine gun sounds and directed gun gestures at a Muslim mother and her young daughter as they passed each other on a London street.
The incident took place at around 10:23 am today (March 22) in the north-western part of the city.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, the mother, who wears the hijab, agreed to have her story told anonymously.
The incident mirrors similar incidents in Oxford and Southampton which were reported to Tell MAMA following last week’s terror attack which left 50 Muslims dead in New Zealand.
She described her fears and a desire to protect her daughter by walking away from the abuse, which she felt was directed at her as a Muslim because of her hijab.
Given the young age of her daughter, she described how she did her best to distract them from the abuse and downplay the gravity of the situation as to not worry them further.
Tell MAMA reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police for intelligence as the woman did not want to take the matter further.
She described the teenagers as being a mix of males from white and black backgrounds.
We have seen an unprecedented spike in reports to our service, rising by 593 per cent, in the week which followed the Christchurch mosque terror attack, with 95 reports. Of which, 89 per cent made direct reference to New Zealand.
Of the online cases reported to Tell MAMA, examples included praise for the suspect Brenton Tarrant, a self-avowed white supremacist, to dehumanising and racialised comments celebrating the murder of ‘P*kis’ (despite the victims coming from a range of ethnic backgrounds), and generalised Islamophobic statements which justified this form of terrorism as a form of retaliation. Some accounts went as far as to argue that Islam should be removed from society regardless.
Other recent examples of Islamophobic incidents this week include the vandalism of five mosques in Birmingham, which is being investigated by counter-terror police. Counter-terror police are still questioning a 50-year-old man in connection with a far-right inspired stabbing in Surrey last Saturday.
Tell MAMA has documented more than 150 incidents against mosques and Islamic institutions, where information is held in the public domain, since May 2013, in an interactive map.
Given this sharp rise in reports to Tell MAMA, both online and offline, we urge Muslims, Islamic institutions, and members of the public to follow our safety tips.
You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.