We have received a report today about an assault that took place against a visible Muslim female. The victim has agreed for her details to be listed in this article so that other Muslim women feel confident to report in anti-Muslim hate and bigotry. She firmly believes that individuals who suffer anti-Muslim hate should speak out and report the hate to the police and to agencies like TELL MAMA.
This is the text of her report to us which highlights the impacts of anti-Muslim hate and intolerance. She makes clear that it was not so much the physical violence that affected her, but the words that affected her identity and her personal sense of well-being. We salute Maryam for her courage and for her ability to stand up and reject the violence and bigotry of her attackers and she also reported the assault immediately to the police after it happened.
Anti-Muslim Hate and the Attack on Maryam
“My name is Maryam. I am 19 years of age. I’m in my first year of a Photojournalism degree at Staffordshire University.
I was involved in a racial attack yesterday which included my scarf getting pulled off and my friend got called “a fucking paki slag“
Me and my friend were in Piccadilly Gardens drinking hot chocolate and catching up about work/Uni as you do. A Hijabi “beggar” came to a group of white girls that were sat next to me and my friend, having her hand out asking for money and they replied by swearing at her and saying “why are you begging in my country, go back to your own county. What if I went to your country and begged for money I would get kidnapped and killed“
I overheard what these girls were saying and to be honest I couldn’t keep quiet. I spoke to the girls politely and said “listen that wasn’t a nice thing to say.. ” They lashed out at me for butting in I guess and swearing, and saying “go back to your country you fucking terrorist paki, I will bomb your face off” which didn’t stop her from slapping me against my face, pulling my headscarf and kicking me on the left side on my hips.
That didn’t bother me. What bothered me was what she said. The words hit me more than the physical attacks.
You know when you hear these things being said and you get really upset that people are saying these things, but try having someone screaming it to your face. I felt weak. I feel horrible from shock I started crying. My friend, from the shock stood there didn’t know what she was doing, wallah it was not nice.
And yes, maybe it wasn’t my business because I knew I was getting myself into trouble, but then I thought if I don’t stand up against these people, who will? Will they ever learn? I can’t keep seeing people get verbally abused. It was a disgusting scene and I hope, I really hope no one ever goes through this.
I did go to the police station and filled a report and a statement and there’s 0.1% chance they will find these girls but I did the right thing.
Yes I got verbally and physically abused but if it meant to stand up for what’s right regardless of who you are and where you come from, I will go through that pain again and again and again.
And like they say, “stand up for what’s right even if it meant to stand alone“