Racists launched a vicious attack on a Muslim woman who was struck on the head and almost had her headscarf torn off. They also hurled racial abuse at the mother and her young daughter as they walked through the city.
The shocking assault has been condemned by the city’s Muslim community, along with religious leaders across Exeter. Hayat Kaddouri Roddy, of Polsloe Road, Exeter, has spoken of the frightening attack in which she describes her attackers as “animals”.
The 37-year-old was with her 13-year-old daughter Huda when the assault happened in Edmund Street, in the St David’s area of Exeter, close to the subway, at around 12.30pm on Tuesday. Both were wearing hijab head-dresses, and Hayat also had on a traditional Muslim jilbab – a long dress.
Moroccan-born Hayat, who has lived in the UK for 17 years and in Exeter for several years, and her daughter were stopped by two teenagers, a boy and girl aged around 17 to 18, who refused to let them pass. They racially abused the woman before a man aged around 27 joined in the attack.
Police are investigating the incident and are appealing for witnesses to contact them.
Hayat said: “This couple stopped us and said they weren’t going to let us pass. They said ‘you don’t belong to this country’. I kept really calm and there was a man behind me and I told him the couple wouldn’t let me pass.
“I thought maybe he would be supportive and help but all of a sudden, he stopped next to me and hit me on the head and tried to pull off my headscarf. He didn’t manage to pull it off completely but he really pulled it hard. And he was saying nasty words to me.”
Via London Muslim