UK police ask for witnesses over attack on woman in hijab

London: Scotland Yard today appealed for witnesses after a man grabbed at a woman’s ‘hijab’ on the busy Oxford Street shopping district here earlier this month.

The force is treating the incident on October 4 as an “Islamophobic hate crime” and the victim is said to be unhurt but shocked and distressed by the incident.

“The victim, a woman aged in her 40s, was walking alone on Oxford Street when she was approached by a man who repeatedly told her to remove her hijab. The woman refused. The man then became more aggressive and grabbed the woman’s headscarf and attempted to remove it by force. The man managed to unpin the scarf but did not succeed in removing it,” a Met Police statement said.

The suspect is described as a white man, aged between 30-40 years, with short, black, greased back hair. Police is going through CCTV footage as part of its investigation.

Detective Sergeant 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,” he said.

This marks the second incident of a so-called “hijab grab” in London within weeks, with another victim in her 20s facing a similar attack last month on a busy street in north London.