Naheela Ashraf, a British-born Muslim woman has informed the press that a man spat at her and assaulted her in an apparent Islamophobic attack in London`s area of Hammersmith on Friday.
The 46-year-old, who lives in Manchester was speaking at a protest and vigil held on Wednesday (January 11) evening in Lyric Square Hammersmith, which was organised by Stand Up To Racism in the aftermath of her attack.
She claimed that while she was having dinner with friends in a fish and chips takeaway in King Street, a man screamed abuse at her, grabbed hold of her and tried to rip off her hijab.
The London metropolitan police confirmed that the attack is being considered as a racially motivated hate crime. “There was a guy sitting behind us and I hadn’t really noticed him.
“But as he went to leave the takeaway he grabbed me and started shouting about the fact that I had no right to be here and that he wouldn’t tolerate people like me. It was all very fast.”
Shocked staff and other customers pushed her attacker away, but Ashraf said: “He just carried on talking about how people like me were killing people.
“Then he spat on me as he was pushed out of the takeaway.”
According to the organisation, Stand Up To Racism, the man also attempted to pull off the victim’s hijab.
She said nothing like this had happened to her before and added: “I think what’s really shocking is that it would happen in a place like Hammersmith when I’m surrounded by other people.