Muslim student in Birmingham punched in the face for “wearing a hijab”

[This is not an image of the victim in the article]

A Muslim woman wearing a hijab was punched in the face in Birmingham city centre in a brutal Islamophobic attack.

Miss Choudhury, 18, who did not want her first name published, said she had been left shocked after the assault which happened as she was walking along New Street.

Her attacker, who was wearing a grey hooded top, just came up to her and punched her in the street.

Police have appealed for witnesses to the attack, which happened at 7.30am on Monday 23 November, and said they were treating it as a “hate crime”.

Miss Chaudary who is a student said the traumatic experience means that she is now scared to walk through the city centre by herself.

She told the Birmingham Mail: “I feel shocked and really scared that someone could attack you for no reason. I don’t feel safe at all now.

“I was walking to the train station to meet some friends when someone shoved me from behind.

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“When I turned around he punched me in the face and then just went off.

“I was really upset afterwards. I can only think it was because he saw my hijab as he didn’t take my bag or anything.

“I’ve lived in Birmingham all my life and I’ve never experienced something like this before.”

The student suffered bruising but said the emotional impact has been more difficult to deal with than her physical injuries.

She fears Muslims are being increasingly targeted because of the Paris attacks earlier this month.

She explained: “It’s made life harder for innocent Muslims. We don’t want people to be killed – that’s not our religion. Our religion is all about peace.

“My parents are so scared that they’re telling me to take my hijab off. My mum’s telling me to wear a hat instead.”

West Midlands Police confirmed they were investigating the attack.

Det Sgt Reg Collett said: “We take all reports of hate crimes extremely seriously and I would urge anyone with information about this assault to come forward.”

West Midlands Police asked anyone with information to contact them by calling 101.

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