British pair arrested over assault that hospitalised Muslim schoolgirl
A video of a woman repeatedly punching the 14-year-old and a man shouting racist slurs in a brawl that started inside the bus and spread onto the street was circulated on social media on Thursday.
The man also blocked other passengers attempting to stop the woman, who at one point in the video is seen on top of the girl, both of them on the ground.
Police said they were called to the Nursery Tavern in Sheffield in south Yorkshire, following “reports of racial abuse” and that “a man and a woman were asked to leave the premises.”
They added that shortly after there was a second report of “an altercation on a bus” travelling towards Sheffield city centre “between the same man and woman and other individuals on the bus.”
“All parties reportedly got off the bus on Ecclesall Road, where a 14-year-old girl was assaulted,” it added.
The girl was reportedly taken to hospital where she received treatment for a suspected fractured eye socket, according to local press.
A local school confirmed that the victim was one of its pupils.
“We are aware of an incident that has happened outside of school where it appears that some of our students have suffered abuse from members of the public,” said a spokesperson from Silverdale school, adding that it was supporting the students and families affected.
The victim’s sister posted on Facebook saying the family had been in A&E all night.
“She has a black eye and scratches on her face and neck. She needs to go back for another check as the doctors think she may have a fractured eye socket,” she wrote.
She added that the assault had left the students traumatised.
Islamophobia in the UK has risen sharply since the 2017 terror attacks in London and Manchester, according to the Muslim News.
In a 2018 report, Islamophobia watchdog Tell MAMA UK identified two significant spikes of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the country. The first occured after ‘Punish a Muslim Day’ letters sent were sent to Muslim homes, institutions, and places of work in March of that year.
A second and more significant uptick occurred in August after then-forign secretary and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote a newspaper column referring to veiled Muslim women as ‘letterboxes’ and ‘bank-robbers’. In the week following his article, anti-Muslim incidents increased by 375 percent.Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected