A Muslim woman claimed that her hijab was ripped from her head by a mob of schoolchildren as she tried to stop them stealing on Sunday.
Masoomeh Jafari, 26, from Sutton, South London, revealed how she was left terrified after up to 30 youngsters attacked her, grabbing her headscarf twice at Poundland supermarket.
Jafari, who has worked at the Poundland store for six years, said: “They came in here shouting and stealing things and I told them to stop,” adding, “A group started swearing at me, saying things about my religion and the clothes I wear. Then they grabbed my headscarf twice. I was very frightened.”
About five of the girls aged between 11 and 14 allegedly called her a ‘f***ing Muslim’ after they were found stealing goods from the store Sunday afternoon at about 3pm.
Passer-by Patricia Rose, 69, of Sutton, who was shocked by the incident said: “They were saying ‘f*** this’ and ‘f*** that’ and they were trying to get back into the shop after they had tried to steal things.”
She added, “I then went into Poundland and saw the lady. She is a delightful person and her head was down. She told me that the children had pulled at her hijab and had sworn at her.”
Rose said police officers attended the shop but the group had left and there was no CCTV footage to help identify those involved.
According to Jafari, incidents like this have taken place before too.
She went on to say, “This has happened before. Sometimes they come in after school, sometimes on the weekends – we catch some of the children stealing from the shop and they are rude to us. I was really upset after it happened.”
Jafari added, “I told my parents about it and they said that I should think about finding work somewhere else. But I have been here for so many years and this was not a problem until recently.”
While Sutton Police said it had no record of the abuse, Poundland said it will look into the matter.