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Australia: Muslim woman thrown from moving train

The commissioner acknowledged that Muslim women are “insulted about their garb” while on the street.

Source : IbTimes / 03 Oct 2014

A woman believed to be a Muslim was left shaken and traumatised after she was thrown out of a train the northern part of Melbourne in a racist attack. Reports said the 26-year-old woman was on a train on the Upfield line when another woman approached her and began verbally abusing her with racist remarks.

The woman’s abuser grabbed her by the hair and neck as her head was bashed several times on the wall of the train’s carriage. The Muslim woman was then pushed off the train when it arrived in Batman Station in Coburg North. According to Senior Constable Michael Potter, the racist attack had happened as the train approached the station on the night of Sept. 25.

Potter declined to confirm the race of victim. Victorian Chief Commissioner Ken Lay had earlier urged the Muslim community to report any incident of racial abuse amid heightened terror alerts and escalated tension in Australia following counter-terrorism raids. Potter refused to release more details about the victim since this would only reveal her identity and lead to possible future attacks.

Police said two men who witnessed the attack had offered to help the woman. The other woman who abused her was described as having a solid build with short brown hair, light eyebrows and an estimated height of 177 centimetres, reports said.

Lay had claimed the police had no information to confirm the rise of “prejudice-related crime” but he was aware of a number of issues in the community that have not been reported to the authorities, The Age reports.

The commissioner acknowledged that Muslim women are “insulted about their garb” while on the street. He said the police are looking into CCTV footage related to the attack on the woman on the train.

According to the results of the latest Mapping Social Cohesion survey, racism in Australia is on the rise. The survey in 2013, conducted by the Scanlon Foundation, found that 19 percent of Australians struggle with some form of racial or religious discrimination. The current figures reveal that racism is at its highest level since Scanlon Foundation began the survey in 2007

In 2011, another survey conducted by a  group of Australian universities found that half of the population in Australia have anti-Muslim views. Since the national terror threat level was raised in Australia, the Grand Mufti has called on the Muslim-Australian community to be calm and exercise restraint since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria issued threats against Australians through social media. Incidents of Australians hurling offensive and racist remarks on Muslims were reported to the police.


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