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14 year old arrested for ripping off Muslim woman’s hijab

14 year old arrested for ripping off Muslim woman’s hijab

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday May 07 2013

The Scotsman, Herald Scotland, Daily Record and BBC News have all reported on the arrest of a 14 year old in relation to a racist attack carried out in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh last week.

Two women in their early 20s were left “traumatised” by the ordeal that saw two children, an 8 year old and a 14 year old, hurl racist abuse at them before ripping off their headscarves. A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

According to the Scotsman newspaper, “The incident…follows a spike in hate crimes against Polish and Muslim residents at Wester Hailes Park over the past week.

“Cars have been vandalised with spray paint and racist slogans daubed in a stairwell.”

Area police inspector, Stevie Dolan, told the paper: “Since last Monday there has been a spate of incidents and there isn’t normally a significant number of hate crimes reported in that area.

“We need to make sure other members of the community of an ethnic minority background know the police are treating this seriously. We need to reassure members of the Muslim community that we are doing our utmost to trace those responsible.”

Attacks on Muslim women wearing the headscarf have been widely noted in studies investigating the impact of racist discourse and headscarf bans in Europe on European Muslim women.

Irene Zempi, a researcher at Leicester University, has documented such incidents referring to the women as ‘invisible victims’ of Islamophobia because such incidents are rarely reported to the police.

Earlier this year, Scottish convert, Alana Blockley, in an interview with the Sunday Sun spoke of her fear of being verbally abused saying: “If I didn’t have my car, and I took public transport, I know for a fact something would’ve happened to me by now.”

Sarah Soyei, from the anti-racism charity, Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC), which runs educational initiatives for schools on tackling racism and Islamophobia, said: “We are seeing a growth in racist bullying towards Muslims students, and those from Roma, Gypsy and travelling communities.”

Soyei in a BBC Asian Network investigative report on Islamophobia and racist bullying in schools, said “the fear of terrorism and the growth of right wing groups like the English Defence League has contributed to a growth of Islamophobia in many classrooms around the country.”

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