SYDNEY: A 31-year-old heavily pregnant woman wearing a headscarf was brutally punched and kicked inside a cafe in Sydney in Australia.
The incident described as a ‘random Islamophobic’ attack was caught on CCTV.
Security camera footage spread on social media sending shockwaves showed the victim identified as Rana Elasmar was sitting in a cafe with her two friends, all wearing headscarves when suddenly a 43-year old attacker approaches them and starts yelling anti-Islamic slurs at them.
All of a sudden, the middle-aged man, with criminal record allegedly bashed one of the women in the head 14 times until the woman falls down and then starts kicking her.
The woman attacked is reported to be 38 weeks pregnant.
High rates of Islamophobia
The two main Islamic organizations in the country condemned the attack by describing it racist and Islamophobic.
Muslims experience discrimination at three times the rate of other Australians.
Recent surveyed by the Charles Sturt University showed high rates of Islamophobia rise in Australia.
Researchers found 96 percent women wearing headscarves are especially at the most risk of Islamophobic attacks.
Calls for solidarity
In a post to Facebook, Ms Elasmar, who suffered bruising and swelling said that she had experienced verbal abuse and hate in the past but never thought “physical abuse of this nature could happen” to her.
“The man who attacked her “verbalised his hatred of Muslims prior to hitting me (but) he neither knows me, nor my religion,” she alleges in the post.
“I do not want this attack to happen to anyone ever again. I want to see a world where people defend one another against cowardly acts like this and band together to protect the victims.”
“We cannot allow behaviour like this to become the norm and sit silent.”
“I call all Australians, Muslim or non-Muslims, of all faiths and cultures to come together, as you have already done for me, and voice your solidarity in protecting innocent people from any future racial/religious attacks.”