The Daily Mail today reports on the trial of a woman charged with racially aggravated assault who allegedly pushed a pregnant Muslim woman to the floor and hurled racist verbal abuse at her and her family, calling her a “suicide bomber” and “terrorist,” after an altercation at a supermarket in London.
From the Daily Mail:
“A portrait photographer to the stars shoved a pregnant Muslim woman to the floor and called her a terrorist during a row in Tesco, a court heard yesterday.
“Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury also branded the hijab-wearing woman’s family suicide bombers, it was alleged.
“She told a jury at Isleworth Crown Court that trouble began at the Tesco store in Kensington, West London, when she offered to help the woman, Mounia Hamoumi, and her husband unload their shopping trolley.
“The court was told she had overheard the husband refusing to help his wife because he was too busy looking after their children.
“‘I told him that is what feminism is all about, women helping women – and he told me to “get lost”.
The accused is alleged to have told the family, “You’re probably claiming jobseeker’s [allowance]”, and used the words “suicide bomber” and “terrorist”.
Nermine Abdel Sayed, prosecuting said that, “You took objection to that inequality didn’t you? Coupled with the woman wearing Islamic dress, you waded in and instigated the whole incident.
“When your offer of help was rejected you became more confrontational and you very quickly lost control and were shouting at them.
“Your tone was aggressive and you used the words “suicide bomber” and “terrorist”, and told them: “I am a British citizen. I don’t know where you are from.”
“You went to the woman and pushed her.”
Heathcote-Drury denies using racist language against the family, stating that “Many of those words were made up, they have misheard it for their purpose.” She claims that she was physically abused by Mrs Hamoumi but that the police did not investigate it. Hamoumi was six months pregnant at the time of the incident on November the 30th last year.
This is not the first time that assaults of this type have been reported, particularly against Muslim women. A recent study carried out by researchers at the University of Leicester found that there has been an increase in levels of hostility towards veiled Muslim women in the UK. Most recent is the case of Ian Brazier who was given a suspended sentence for pulling off of a woman’s niqab in a shopping centre. You can access reports of Islamophobic hate crimes reported in the media on ENGAGE’s website here.
UPDATE: Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury was acquitted of racially aggravated assault by the jury, see the Daily Mail
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