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Muslim woman speaks out against community sentence for hate crime

Muslim woman speaks out against community sentence for hate crime

Categories: Latest News

Monday November 03 2014

Scottish daily paper, the Daily Record, carries an interview with Shirin Akhter, the Muslim woman who had her face veil ripped from her face in an attack last year by a man who told her “Why are you wearing this? This is not the Qur’an and is not allowed in this country.”

Emiliano Sanchez, forcibly removed Ms Akhter’s niqab as she walked out of a Lidl store in Glasgow last November. He then walked into the store and boasted to a shop worker, “Did you see that p**i? I told her to take that thing off her head.”

Sanchez was handed a community sentence of 250 hours unpaid work for the attack at Glasgow Sherriff Court last week. Sheriff Alayne Swanson told Sanchez his crime was “serious enough” to merit a custodial sentence but she opted for a non-custodial one imposing a harassment order in addition to the community work sentence.

Akhter speaking to the Daily Record said:

“He should have been sent to jail.

“The fact that he wasn’t sends out the wrong message to people.

“Racism is something which shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere.

“I was left scared to go out with my six-year-old daughter and was living in fear of being attacked again.

“I was very upset after the attack. I had a full face veil with just my eyes showing. It is important to me because it is my religious faith and I feel comfortable in public with it on.”

The Daily Record recounts how Ms Akhter followed Sanchez after the incident but lost him.

Akhter reported the incident to the police but they were unable to locate him. His whereabouts were found out by the shop worker whom Sanchez had boasted to about the attack. When Sanchez’s wife went into the Lidl store the shop worker approached her to find out where Sanchez lived. The information was passed on to the police enabling them to trace Sanchez and bring charges against him.

Akhter told the local paper, “I was afraid every time I went out that it could happen again – it’s not the way people should have to live.”


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