Two hijabi Muslim women and their babies were attacked in New York City on Thursday in an apparent hate crime. Emirjeta Xhelili, aged 32, accosted the women while they were out for a stroll with their babies in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bath Beach at around 1:30 P.M.
Xhelili allegedly punched the two women in the face and body, tried to rip off their hijabs, and even went for the infants, knocking down one stroller and rattling another, all while spouting Islamophobic insults. “Get the f**k out of here. Get the the f**k out of America, b*****s,” Xhelili shouted. “This is America — you shouldn’t be different from us.”
Shortly before the crime, the attacker had posted violently Islamophobic and racist content on her Facebook. Her Twitter account is also filled with pro-Trump rhetoric. One tweet reads: “America is the ark of Noah, Trump’s gonna win.”
This attack comes in the wake of a recent surge in Islamophobic attacks in America and Europe, including the assault of a pregnant niqabi woman in Spain last week, and the shooting of a Queens imam and his associate in August.
Thankfully, the 23-year-old mothers and their 11-month-old and 15-month-old babies were not seriously hurt. Xhelili was apprehended by police shortly afterward a few blocks away, and continued to spew hateful language at her victims during her arrest. “You don’t belong here,” she shouted at them, according to Assistant District Attorney Kelli Muse.
The attack was classified as a hate crime, and Xhelili was charged with harassment, reckless endangerment of a child, and assault at her arraignment Friday, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. “She didn’t even care for the well-being of a baby — that’s how serious this hate crime is,” Muse said.
Judge Lorna McAllister issued an order of protection barring Xhelili from any contact with the women or their babies. She is being held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
The New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations released a statement urging the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office to “prosecute this horrific attack vigorously, sending the message that hate attacks targeting any minority group will not be tolerated,” and encouraging mosques in New York to increase security.
This attack comes in the wake of a recent surge in Islamophobic attacks in America and Europe, including the assault of a pregnant niqabi woman in Spain last week, and the shooting of a Queens imam and his associate in August. According to the Huffington Post, there were 233 attacks on Muslims in the United States in July alone.