France: Pregnant Muslim mother suffers violent ‘Islamophobic’ attack for wearing a headscarf
A pregnant Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was violently attacked in the French town of Toulouse by an individual, who accused her of wearing a “hijab” to hide her hair.
According to her account, the attacker pulled on her veil, grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground, where he hit her several times in a street of the Rose Garden, in the north-east of Toulouse.
The young women, in her thirties, lodged a complaint of racist abuse a day after the attack on 24 March. Investigators of the body of departmental security have interviewed the mother at the clinic she is recovering in.
“There is no reason to doubt her word,” said a police source, referring to the possibility of the establishment of a sketch of the assailant who fled.
‘None of that in our country’
According to the victim’s husband, Mounir, 33, the woman took her two daughters to school when she was faced by two young men.
“One of them grabbed her hair, pulled on her veil while insulting her [saying] ‘None of that in our country’ … He threw a lot of punches… His friend, who was not involved in the violence, told him to stop,” the man was quoted as saying by La Depeche du Midi.
In a statement, the Socialist deputy of Haute-Garonne, Christophe Borgel, said “there was no doubt” about “the racist and anti-Muslim character of this aggression”.
“The [French] Republic does not tolerate any racist attack, the [French] Republic will not tolerate any aggression because of the religion of one of its citizens,” Borgel wrote.
The spokesman of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith (CRCM) in the Midi-Pyrénées, Abdellatif Mellouki, said he had “deep concerns” about “an increase in Islamophobic acts.
This comes less than 10 days after thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and a dozen of cities in the country – including Lyon, Marseille and Grenoble – to protest against racism and Islamophobia. The protestors claim the attacks against Charlie Hebdo triggered further racist acts.
In late February, an Odoxa poll revealed 77% of French people felt Islamophobia was progressing – while 68% said it was also the case for anti-Semitism.