Muslim veil ripped off
Student from King’s College London suffers racist attack
A young Muslim woman had her face veil ripped off in a ‘disgusting’ attack outside her campus at King’s College London.
The student, from the university’s Islamic society, was racially abused before the veil was snatched from her face.
As part of its ‘Discover Islam’ week, students were running a stall outside the Strand campus of King's College London when they were confronted by two men at around 1pm last Friday.
The fracas lasted around 30 minutes and one woman had her niqab pulled away and was racially taunted, it has been claimed.
One of the students running the stall wrote on Facebook afterwards that she was ‘absolutely sickened [by the] disgusting display of racism and Islamophobia’.
She wrote online: “A dear friend of mine was targeted and attacked physically for choosing to wear a veil that represents her relationship with God.
“She is free to do so. Before anyone thinks of claiming her choice of clothing provoked such a reaction, take a step (or two) back and ask yourself would you have said the same thing if she was wearing a different style of clothing that some other idiot felt offended by?
“If you would then you are that idiot. If you wouldn't then you are not so far from these bigots who attacked us.”
In a statement, the university said two of its security managers intervened, but students say it took a long time for them to take action and questioned why.
Speaking on behalf of the women, Hareem Ghani, a member of the university’s Islamic Society told the Evening Standard that the men kept asking: “Why are you wearing that on your face?”
Ms Ghani said: “It escalated from there and one of them reached out to the sisters and pulled off her niqab.
“Security were called but they only responded 15 minutes afterwards.”
Geography student Mahamed Abdullahi said he tried to defuse the situation after hearing one of the men tell the women: “I shouldn’t have to see this on my streets.”
He said: “They were looming over the women and moving towards them and being very aggressive, which is why security were called.
“One of the students was trying to take a photo of the man for the police and he sort of lunged towards her. I had to physically get in the way and block him from attacking her.”
The university said the two men finally left at around 1.35pm, shortly before police arrived.
A university spokesman said: “We are mindful of concerns raised around this incident and would like to reassure our staff and students that the safety and security of our campuses is of the utmost importance.
“The incident is now being investigated by the police, following the arrests made yesterday, and our CCTV footage will be provided as evidence as part of this process.
“We will continue to support the police in their investigation, which will take precedence over our own proceedings.
“However, we will also be reviewing the incident, including the CCTV evidence, to establish precisely what happened and further improve student safety on campus."
A spokesman for the Met Police said two men, aged 39 and 41, had been arrested under the Public Order Act following the incident and bailed until May.