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Barkingside mum vows not to be bullied by hijab haters

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:24 20 October 2016

Sophia Darr was attacked for wearing an hijab. Photo Ken Mears.

Sophia Darr was attacked for wearing an hijab. Photo Ken Mears.

Archant

A defiant mother said she will not be bullied after she was attacked in broad daylight for wearing a hijab.

Sophia Dar, 47, of Barkingside, was left sobbing after a stranger shouted at her and tried to remove her headscarf while she walked to work along Oxford Street last week.

“I was shocked someone would do this, but even more shocked no one tried to stop him or ask if I was OK.

“We need to stand up, they are bullies who think we will be quiet, but I am not oppressed, I decided to wear my scarf. It is my choice.”

Mrs Dar reported the incident to police and is encouraging others to do the same.

“If you let things go, people’s mindset will not change,” she said.

“I will wear my hijab tighter and if anything it has made me more determined to wear it – I’m proud of it, it’s my identity.”

Bushra Tahir, chairman of Redbridge women’s charity Awaaz, said more and more women are coming forward to say they have been targeted because of their race or religion. She believes incidents are becoming part of “everyday life”.

“It’s a growing trend we hear of more and more incidents,” she said.

“Women don’t always report it as they think the thing said to them is small, but it’s not,” she said.

She believes the whole community need to pull together to tackle the issue and added: “if we don’t report it these people will do more – it’s a big worry for the whole community”.

Det Sgt Steve Stamp of Westminster’s Community Safety Unit said: “This was an unprovoked and hate–filled attack in broad daylight in the middle of a busy street.

“The woman was targeted by this suspect purely based on what she was wearing.

“Racially and religiously motivated crimes will not be tolerated I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack to contact police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Westminster Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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