Victim's family ‘let down’ after woman who strangled Muslim schoolgirl cautioned, released by police
Rashida Ali, the mother of Redena Al-Hadi, whose assault at the hands of a 40-year-old woman went viral on social media last week, said she fears for her daughters’ safety following the incident, in which her 13-year-old daughter Wida was also involved.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, Ali said that the caution charge has “let down Muslims nationwide”.
Al-Hadi’s family also raised concerns about the bus driver, who they say failed to intervene to stop the racist abuse before it escalated into a violent assault.
Comment: There's no Islamophobia in the Tory party, because they don't believe it exists
The video of the assault shows an older woman dragging the girl off the bus and punching her repeatedly as she’s pushed to the pavement.
South Yorkshire Police have said the investigation will undergo a full review which includes re-interviewing witnesses, adding that officers remain in contact with the family.
According to Tell MAMA, the incident began when a man on the bus started shouting the n-word at the group of school students including Redena and Wida.
The man then pushed a boy from the group who challenged his behaviour, after which al-Hadi stepped in to say it was wrong to push a child in such a way, before the man pushed a girl in the group.
The woman accompanying the man then began spouting Islamophobic abuse at al-Hadi, including saying that her headscarf “make[s] me sick”.
It was then that the woman launched her assault on al-Hadi, dragging her off the bus while punching her and strangling her with her own hijab as she was pinned to the ground, the 14-year-old revealed in an interview with the Daily Mirror.
She told the newspaper she is too scared to leave the house since the attack, which left her with a black eye, a possible cheek fracture, and pooled blood in one eye.
“How can an adult attack a child for wearing a hijab?” she said in the interview, adding that she thought she was “going to die” while being strangled.
Her younger sister was also left bruised and traumatised by the attack.
South Yorkshire Police announced they had arrested the pair linked to the assault on Sunday on charges of racially aggravated assault and public order offences.
The woman was reportedly given a caution due to it being her first offence, according to The Mirror.