A pregnant woman wearing the niqab was attacked in front of her husband and children in Barcelona in what the police are now calling a hate crime.
While walking with her family, two young men approached her and began hurling insults over her choice to wear the veil. Investigators say the altercation turned physical when her husband stepped in regarding the comments that were made, only to be pushed by the two young men.
“The woman tried to intervene between the aggressors and her partner,” a police spokesperson said. “At that moment, one of the attackers kicked the pregnant woman’s abdomen.”
As the attack took place in Barcelona’s largely populated central Old Town area, members of the public witnessed the attack and acted swiftly, standing in to protect her and calling the police while waiting with the woman and her family until they arrived.
After being checked over by paramedics and taken to the hospital, the mother-to-be was thankfully left unharmed, and so was the unborn child.
The two suspects are thought to have links to the far-right football group The Brigadas Blanquiazules, who support the RCD Espanyol football team in Barcelona. Members of this group have been banned since 2010 from entering the stadium, yet these acts of football hooliganism are not exclusive to simply just them.
Attacks and discrimination regarding the niqab and other forms of modest Muslim attire have been at the forefront of the media due to similar incidences over the last few months.
In fact, there has been an increase in the number of hate crimes toward marginalized groups in Europe since Brexit.
Barcelona has also become part of the debate over banning certain Islamic attire. In 2010, they banned veils that cover the face in public buildings, citing reasons of “personal identification.”
The steady rise in hate crimes proves that Islmophobia continues to be a growing epidemic. Fortunately, this pregnant woman in niqab was surrounded by people who were not just onlookers, but active members of society stepping in to help her and her family.