Sydney: A video of a man brutally attacking a heavily pregnant woman in Sydney cafe has left netizens stunned.
Shocking security camera footage which has emerged, shows a man approaching a table of three women wearing ‘hijab’ as they were engrossed in a conversation. Out of nowhere, a man approached them and exchanged a brief conversation.
The footage then shows the 43-year-old suspect leaning over the table, before lashing out strong punches towards the woman, who is seen wearing a hijab. The woman, reportedly fell to the ground and was further stomped on. Meanwhile, other people present at the cafe came to her rescue and stopped the man while the pregnant woman was helped by her friends.
She was taken to Westmead Hospital where she was treated for head injuries.
The man “verbalised his hatred of Muslims prior to hitting me”, according to a statement issued by the victim in which she called for all Australians to voice solidarity against religious or racial attacks. She narrated the ordeal in a Twitter post.
Police said the suspect has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and denied bail.
“This was clearly a racist and Islamophobic attack and we expect it to be treated as such. If it were not for the brave actions of these members of the community in stopping the assault the victim may very well have sustained much more serious injuries,” said The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Rateb Jneid.
A report by researchers at Charles Sturt University found Islamophobia in Australia was “a continuous phenomenon” and women wearing headscarves are especially at risk, said a report by Channel News Asia.