A 38-year-old Muslim woman wearing hijab was beaten by a group of three boys in front of the Usera metro station in Madrid, where she suffered cuts, bruises and anxiety symptoms. Madrid police are treating the incident as a hate crime and an Islamophobic attack committed out of revenge following the two attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, which killed 15 people.
The victim told authorities that the boys approached her because she was wearing a hijab and identified her as Muslim.
Madrid’s Diversity Management Unit has taken on the investigation, but there have been no arrests. The Madrid police were notified that Hogar Social, a neo-Nazi group, had headquarters in the city and hung banners that were Islamophobic and xenophobic. Some of the signs stated, “Islam destroys Europe while we open the doors” and “terrorists welcome,” in reference to the “Refugees Welcome” campaign.
Muslims, especially Muslim women, in Europe and the United States have been facing so-called “revenge” attacks. Spain’s Muslim population makes up about four percent of the population, a little under two million people, and Muslims have a long history of influence in Spain. Yet, some still face prejudice as foreigners.