Coming out of London this week, is some classic and very explicit English prejudice. Allow me to set the scene. We’re on a crowded bus going through town, there’s a pregnant Muslim woman, there’s a belligerent non-Muslim woman — action!
In other iterations, the video varies in length but the message is unchanging. An unidentified woman screams obscenities at the pregnant Umm Lina, a Muslim woman riding the bus with her 3-year-old daughter and 52-year-old mother.
The bus screamer accused Umm Lina of being an “ISIS bitch” and even threatened to kick her in the stomach so that she could “never have a kid again.”
Umm Lina is an Italian national, originally from Morocco, and speaks fluent Italian, French and Arabic. During the rant, she did not fully understand what her abuser was saying but was afraid for her safety. She tried saying “Please, shhh” in English, but the bus screamer only raised her voice. When Umm Lina asked the bus driver to call the police, he told her she could do that herself.
As equally shocking as the rant itself, is that no one on the bus seemed to care. Bystanders witnessed the gruesome harassment and chose to remain silent even after the bus screamer threatened to “donkey kick” Lina’s pregnant belly. Perhaps donkey kicking is a traditional English greeting that we are not aware of, but it seems a little…hmm…violent?
The Metropolitan Police are aware of the footage and claim that they are investigating the situation.
This absolutely ridiculous attack is yet another case of the growing anti-Muslim sentiment infecting large portions of the world. The entire world, not just America, not just England, but the planet Earth. Let the immensity of that sit with you for a moment.
The media’s obsession with ISIS, which is technically the product of American insurgence, has served as fuel to the fire of Muslim haters. Throwing the term ISIS around serves as a cover all for why people just can’t trust having Muslims in their neighborhood or country. The climate has become so dangerous for all Muslims that we can barely step outside without having to worry about hate crimes, anti-Islam protests, mosque vandalism, and in extreme cases: murder — just like in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
According to FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, hate crimes against Muslims are still five times higher than before the Sept. 11 tragedy. This means that children who were not even alive for that event will be reaping the bitter fruit of Islamophobia for something that, to them, will have to be learned in a history class.
Umm Lina is a drop in an enormous bucket of fear and intolerance. But her case shows us the true extent of the damage. No one stood up to defend her. No one said, “stop.” No one offered to switch places with her so she didn’t have to stay so close to the bus screamer. No one had the decency to recognize a pregnant woman in distress. Some of the people on that bus might have even agreed with what was taking place.
So, why? Why can this happen? Because hating Muslims isn’t just common, it’s become trendy. It’s something that people can bond over in the way that we bond over hating specific movies or TV shows. Oh you didn’t like the first season of Gotham? Me neither, let’s be best friends and start a blog about all of the canonical flaws of the series!
Oh you don’t like Muslims? Me neither, let’s be best friends and apply to be volunteers at the next Pam Gellar event!
Written by Shayreen Izoli
Image from Video