A 40-year-old woman accompanied by a man attacked a Muslim teenager in the UK last week for simply wearing a veil.
A video of the incident shows a group of students - of whom at least four are veiled - arguing with the woman on a parked bus before she lashed her anger on two of them.
The woman later shifted her focus to one girl. She repeatedly slapped and hit the teen, later identified as Redena Al Hadi, dragged her by her hijab, and locked her on the ground with punches. The 14-year-old and her sister, Wida, who was also attacked, suffered physical bruising and emotional trauma.
"When she was strangling me, I thought I was going to die," Al Hadi told Metro.
Her sister, 13, is not only afraid of going to school but of leaving the house entirely, wondering how an adult could do such a thing to kids.
Police were called to the site of the incident to investigate the matter. The woman and her 44-year-old male counterpart were arrested; the attacker was later released under the pretext of "first offense." The man remains in custody awaiting a possible court processing.
The incident was allegedly ignited when the 44-year-old man began verbally attacking the sisters' friend with racial slurs, calling her the n-word. The same man can be seen in the video attempting to keep people away from the fight. A boy on the bus stood up to defend the girl from the racism she was facing, so the woman shoved and punched him.
Al Hadi tried to stop the woman by reminding her that the boy she's hitting is a minor, but she instead succeeded in further aggravating the woman.
"I then tried to get all of the girls off the bus, but the woman came up to my face and started saying my hijab was making her sick. I felt really hurt. She pulled my head down and dragged me off the bus," Al Hadi commented in an interview with the Mirror.
Earlier that same day, police were called to the Nursery Tavern in Sheffield for a report concerning racial abuse; the man and woman involved were asked to leave at the time. Some hours later, a second report was filed against the same couple, this time for attacking Muslim teenagers.
The victim's family received the news of the woman's release. The latter was let go with a warning but will be taken to court in case she repeats her offense.
"She shouldn't be on the streets. She could do this to another Muslim. I am now too scared to leave my house," Al Hadi complained to Mirror UK.
The solicitor representing the sisters, Arshaid Bashir, was livid with Sheffield Police's decision. Bashir believes no person in their right mind would have dealt with such an incident in this way. In his opinion, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) - the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales - should have been consulted before the woman was released.
"This is an assault on a child where derogatory language has been used. It is a racially aggravated assault. There was serious harm to a child who was attacked due to her appearance," insisted Bashir.
The CPS reported 10,817 hate crime convictions in the 12 months leading to March 2019, with a record of 73.6 percent of defendants receiving higher sentences.
Islamophobia remains rampant in the UK and other first-world countries, as the number of attacks against innocent Muslims keeps on increasing.