A 21-year-old Muslim woman cries after being called a “terrorist,” a “bomber,” during an Islamophobic attack on a train in the UK.
The woman, whose initials are GD, was racially abused while on the Great Western Railway from Bath Spa to London Paddington on October 16.
The incident started when GD, with her friend just coming home from a day trip, asked a train passenger if she could sit on the seat near him. But the man whose identity was not revealed immediately replied brusquely, “no, you can’t sit here unless you have a bomb on you.”
GD claims that the man said that comment out loud when the train was silent, making everyone in the train hear the abuse too.
GD’s friend, who did not accept her friend being abused, then asked the man about the abuse. However, the man just replied that “it’s a joke.” They quickly answered that it was not a joke.
Instead of stopping and apologizing, the man replied, “oh, you might blow up the train too.”
Gd added that at that time, she and her friends were scared. They feared the man would be violent, though he backed down again after, looking as though he was under the influence of alcohol.
GD and her friends also regretted the attitude of other train passengers when the incident occurred, where two male passengers laughed at the violence while other passengers were silent as if to justify the man’s actions.
GD’s friends added that if they feel what he is doing is wrong, they should say something, but their silence reinforces the idea that they agree with it.
Even after explaining the situation to the GWR train conductor, GD only got a cold response. The conductor just spoke to the man and allowed him to get off the train while asking GD to excuse him as he was drunk.
GD, who believed that she was abused as she wears a hijab, is worried about her safety on public transportation.
GD’s friend reported the incident to British Transport Police (BPT) by providing a witness statement, pictures, and videos on the same day. A complaint form regarding the incident has also been submitted to Great Western Railway on October 18.