In an incident described as an 'Islamophobic' attack, a 31-year old pregnant Muslim woman was badly thrashed and kicked at a Sydney cafe. Before pounding on the lady, the 43-year old attacker yelled anti-Islamic slurs at the woman and her two friends, all of whom were wearing headscarves.

Woman in burqa
Representational Image Pixabay

What was the Incident?

Security camera footage shows three women in headscarves, sitting at a table in a cafe. Suddenly, a middle-aged man approaches them and starts talking. All of a sudden, he pounds on one of the women and starts to thrash her incessantly on her head, until the woman falls down. He then starts kicking her, until the people witnessing the incident intervene and stop the assailant.

The woman attacked is reported to be 38 weeks pregnant. The woman was admitted to a hospital and was discharged later. "If it were not for the brave actions of these members of the community in stopping the assault the victim may very well have sustained much more serious injuries," said police inspector Luke Sywenkyj.

According to a recent report by researchers at Charles Sturt University, Islamophobia is on the rise in Australia and women wearing headscarves are especially at risk.

Assailant arrested

According to the police, the suspect has been arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray. He has been denied bail, CNA reported. The motive of the attack hasn't been disclosed, but the police have left open the possibility of additional charges being laid against him.

'Islamophobic' attack

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) said on Thursday that the attack was clearly a racist and Islamophobic attack and we expect it to be treated as such. The man was heard "yelling anti-Islamic hate speech at the victim and her friends", AFIC president Rateb Jneid said in a statement.

Muslims are increasingly at the receiving end of violence in Australia. According to a recent report by researchers at Charles Sturt University, Islamophobia is on the rise in Australia and women wearing headscarves are especially at risk. Out of 113 female victims who reported being physically intimidated or harassed, researchers found 96 percent were wearing a headscarf.