Elham Asaad Buaras
A heavily pregnant French Muslim woman has been hospitalised in Toulouse after being assaulted in an Islamophobic act in the early hours of March 24. The attack was one of three assaults on hijab wearing women in less than three weeks in France.
29-year-old Kedidja, who was wearing a hijab was hit several times by two men and thrown to the ground as she dropped her two children off at school.
Her husband Munir, 33, says they grabbed her hair and pulled at her headscarf while yelling “none of that here” at the nine-months-pregnant woman.
Her unborn baby is believed to be unharmed, but her husband revealed that she has been left severely traumatized.
He added: “My wife had just put our two daughters to school, one in kindergarten and one in elementary school. Upon leaving, she met two young men. One of them grabbed her hair, pulled on her veil and insulted her.”
“After the final few blows and some more insults – including death threats – the two men ran away, leaving her extremely shocked.”
The assailant’s friend reportedly stopped the attack from continuing before the pair shouted racist abuse and threatened to kill her.
Munir said the men took offence to his wife’s hijab even though she was dressed conventionally in tracksuit bottoms and a jacket.
The couples’ MP Christophe Borgel condemn the “cowardly” attack which he said was “without a doubt” a hate crime. “I was shocked to learn of this attack. This French woman of Muslim faith was attacked because she was wearing the traditional headscarf.”
“France does not tolerate any kind of racist attack, France will not tolerate any kind of aggression based on the religion of one of its citizens.
There was a similarly violent incident in June 2013 when a pregnant Muslim woman was assaulted in the suburbs of Paris by two alleged “skinheads” for wearing a face-veil. The woman tragically suffered a miscarriage but it remained unclear if she lost her baby directly because of the attack.
French authorities have been concerned by a rise in Islamophobia since the horrific terror attacks in Paris in January.
France’s anti-Islamophobia group Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en France (CCIF) has documented a record 116 Islamophobic attacks in the space of just three weeks (January 7 – 20) following the terrorist attacks. To put things into perspective it had recorded 110 similar acts in the whole of 2014.
CCIF Spokeswoman, Elsa Ray, told The Muslim News the attack on Kedidja was not an isolated incident.
“A woman in Saint-Etienne was assaulted by another woman who actually violently grabbed the arm of the victim’s 11 months old baby girl and a mother violently assaulted by a man near the school (also a student’s parent) who actually snatched her hijab to the point where she had to pick it up from the ground.”
These three women are not isolated cases but definitely a manifestation of the raise of physical Islamophobic violence in France, which the CCIF said the recent attacks on Muslim women was a manifestation of the raise of physical Islamophobic violence in France which they have warned about for the past 2 years.