A pregnant 31-year-old Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was injured in an Islamophobic attack in Sydney, Australia.
Rana Elasmar, was punched and kicked by 43-year-old resident Stipe Lozina, while she was sitting in a cafe with her friends, who were also wearing headscarves, New South Wales Police department said.
Shocking security camera footage showed a man approaching a table of three women wearing headscarves as they chatted at a cafe in the city on Wednesday (Nov 20).
Seemingly without provocation, the 43-year-old suspect is seen lunging over the table to attack a 31-year-old woman, who police said is 38 weeks pregnant.
After several frenzied punches, the woman fell to the ground and was stamped on, before bystanders wrestled the assailant away.
Police said a suspect has been charged with assaultoccasioning actual bodily harm and affray and denied bail.
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) and Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), the two main Islamic organizations in the country, condemned the attack.
“This was clearly a racist and Islamophobic attack and we expect it to be treated as such,” saidRateb Jneid, the head of AFIC.
Victim woman Elasmar was discharged from the hospital after treatment.
A recent report by researchers at Charles Sturt University found Islamophobia in Australia was “a continuous phenomenon” and women wearing headscarves are especially at risk.
Of 113 female victims who reported being physically intimidated or harassed, researchers found 96 per cent were wearing a headscarf.