London - A Muslim woman, in her forties wearing a hijab, has been punched in the head and kicked off a London bus by two young women who attacked her in a racist and Islamophobic hate crime.
Metropolitan Police officers were called in to London Road in Southwark, near Elephant and Castle Tube station, last Wednesday following reports of a woman being subjected to racist and Islamophobic abuse by two young women, OnIslam reported.
At the scene, officers spoke to the victim who was injured as a result of allegedly being punched in the head and kicked off the number 63 bus at around 8 p.m.
The victim was taken later to a central London hospital for treatment after the incident. "Commuter Antonia Bance was on the bus at the time, and told The Independent what she witnessed." I was waiting for a bus by Elephant and Castle station, when all of a sudden the crowd around me gasped," she said.
"As I looked up there was a woman in a pink hijab lying on the road next to the back doors of the bus." She said there was then a scuffle between passengers on the bus, as commuters tried to hang on to the two women who were allegedly responsible, according to the Independent.
"People tried to take pictures of them as they walked off, but they were pushing the cameras away," Bance said.
Speaking to the victim afterwards, she discovered that there had been an earlier argument on the bus, with the two women allegedly taking pictures of her on their phones while making Islamophobic comments.
"She said they kicked her in the stomach off the bus backwards. Due to the road works around Elephant and Castle, she landed on the road on her back," Bance added.
"It was awful, just awful."
She said after the incident many passengers stayed around to help the victim.
"People were trying to hold on to these girls, they were taking videos and photos, and a few called the police."
"Straight away people picked the lady up off the floor, they were giving her hugs and helping her with her shopping."
"It's an awful, awful thing to happen, but everyone there was trying their best to help."
The suspects have been described as black females in their twenties, and police are appealing for witnesses.
No arrests have yet been made, but officers from the Road and Transport Policing Command continue to investigate.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.8 million, according to latest census released in 2011.
Last September, London Met police had revealed that Islamophobic attacks have increased by 70 percent in the past year, with veiled women becoming prime targets of such attacks.
A new study found that Islamophobia victims are left feeling trapped after suffering abuse, receiving no support from fellow citizens.
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