Upstander intervenes to stop men intimidating Muslim women and demanding to know why they wear hijabs
A member of the public intervened to stop two men harassing Muslim women and demanding to know why they were wearing hijabs.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how he first stopped to monitor the situation by pretending to use his mobile phone when out walking in his local park, before intervening when safe to do as the situation escalated.
To protect their identities, we are only disclosing that the incident occurred in the east of Scotland on June 6.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, he described how one of the men had placed both hands on a table and leaned into one of the women, demanding to know about her hijab as his friend stood to watch.
Despite observing laughter and attempts from diplomacy from the women, it was a brazen act of intimidation, more so that children were also present, as the man continued to approach their table even as their friend tried to him to leave.
At one point, the man demanded food from their table, which the women shared, the good Samaritan credited the woman’s diplomacy when confronted with such intimidation, adding that he feared that the man would attack her.
When safe to do so, the upstander intervened as one of the men became aggressive towards one of the children, as he interjected himself physically to create a barrier to stop the intimidation escalating further, as he continued to use his body to usher the men towards a different section of the park.
He described both men as being in their forties and white.
After the men left, our upstander approached the women who expressed her gratitude but declined to report the anti-Muslim and Islamophobic intimidation to the police.
Of the verified reports to Tell MAMA in 2018 which occurred offline, on streets or transport networks, in workplaces or places of business, over half (57 per cent) of those targeted were Muslim women, as a majority of known perpetrators were male (73 per cent) as 61 per cent, where ethnicity was known, were identified as white males. It again demonstrates the overlapping and intersecting nature of misogyny and the racialised targeting of Muslim women.
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