A Muslim woman was waiting for the train in Piccadilly Circus station, known as one of the busiest train stations in London, where she was the victim of a hate crime. A middle-aged man was leaning against a wall and patiently waited for the train to approach.
As the train started to arrive the man suddenly shoved the woman from behind, pushing her toward the moving train. She hit the train but luckily fell back on the platform floor as the train passed by in fast speed. People standing in the train station quickly ran to her rescue.
Thankfully, she is safe but was taken to a local hospital for the injuries she received from the attack. The man who pushed her has been arrested and is being charged with attempted murder.
Steve Burton, the director of enforcement and on-street operations at Transport for London released a statement saying that an attack like this was “rare” in London.
Strangely however, the number of hate crimes against Muslims in London seem to be anything but rare. Hate crimes motivated by Islamophobia in London have risen to new peaks, surpassing the numbers of the previous year. The Guardian reported that “there were 816 Islamophobic offenses recorded across the city in the 12 months up to July this year, compared with 478 for the previous 12 months.”
Being a New Yorker who is constantly catching a train to get places, I’m always told to “be careful” and “not to stand too close by the platform edge, just in case.” Even though I don’t overtly look Muslim, my parents have a legitimate reason to be concerned for my safety while taking the subway.
I mean, Sunando Sen was fatally pushed in front of a train for the mere possibility of being Muslim.
Hate crimes fueled by growing Islamophobic sentiment are constantly happening around us. Seeing these increase over the years against only Muslims, indicates how prominent Islamophobia really is.
It’s an unfortunate reality that we leave our houses in fear — it’s something that’s stapled in the back of our minds. We see unjustified hate perpetuating fear for our friends, sisters and mothers.
Don’t wait for the ones close to you to become a victim of a hate crime, speak up against the hate. Because we too, have the right to travel without fear.
Written by Sabena Chaudhry.