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Girls & Women

A Group of Men Beat a Woman Wearing a Hijab in an ‘Islamophobic Hate Crime’ Following Barcelona Attacks

Flickr/Evgeni Zotov

A Muslim woman has been attacked for wearing a hijab in Madrid, following the Barcelona terror attacks last week. 

The 38-year-old woman, who has not been named, was beaten by a group of young men outside a metro station in the south of the Spanish capital. 

Police are treating it as an “Islamophobic hate crime,” in the wake of last week’s terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, in which 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

Read more: This is What You Should Do If You See a Muslim Person Being Harassed

The woman was taken to hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises, as well as an anxiety attack, following the assault on Wednesday afternoon, reported Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Although she was unable to see much of her attackers, the woman told police she was assaulted by “two or three young men.” 

The attack is under investigation, by Madrid’s Unit of Diversity Management, but there have no far been no arrests. 

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Madrid’s Town Hall also alerted police to “xenophobic and Islamophobic” banners this week — although not specifically related to the attack on the woman — hung by the neo-Nazi group Hogar Social from an occupied building the other side of Madrid.

Police reports stressed the “gravity of these actions,” and ordered the removal of the banners, which they said could also constitute a hate crime.

Following terror attacks, police in the countries affected often record a spike in hate crimes. 

Read more: Fearless Imam Protects London Mosque Terror Suspect Until Police Arrive

Police in London and Manchester recorded a surge in anti-Muslim hate crime following the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack, in May and June this year respectively.

The number of Islamophobic attacks in Manchester went up fivefold in the week following the concert bombing, reported The Guardian, with 139 incidents reported to Tell Mama, a group recording Islamophobic crimes, compared to 25 incidents the week before the attack. 

London’s Met police have said the volume of Islamophobic attacks has increased sharply in the last four years. It has increased from 343 attacks between March 2012 and March 2013, to 1,260 attacks between March 2016 and March 2017.