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Swedes don headscarves to support Muslim victim

Pregnant woman taken to hospital after the attacker tore off her hijab and hit her head against a car

Gulf News

Stockholm: Scores of Swedish women from various faiths have posted pictures of themselves online wearing hijabs, or traditional Muslim headscarves, to show solidarity with a Muslim woman who was attacked in a Stockholm suburb for wearing one.

Police spokesman Ulf Hoffman says an unknown assailant attacked the pregnant woman in the suburb of Farsta on Friday. The victim was taken to hospital after the attacker tore off her hijab and hit her head against a car on Saturday.

Hoffman said the man shouted slurs which have led police to believe the attack was motivated by the woman’s religion.

Among the women posting photos in headscarves on Twitter on Monday were politicians — Green Party leader Asa Romson and Social Democrat lawmaker Veronica Palm — and TV hosts.

The “hijab outcry” campaigners urged the government to “ensure that Swedish Muslim women are guaranteed the right to ... religious freedom”.

Police are now investigating the incident, as per a BBC report.

Using the hashtag #hijabuppropet (hijab outcry) a number of women across Sweden published pictures of themselves on Twitter and other social media websites on Monday.

The initiative’s organisers say they want to raise awareness of the harassment women wearing headscarves face in Sweden, BBC reported.
“We believe that’s reason enough in a country where the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims is on the rise — and where women tie their headscarves extra tight so that it won’t get ripped off — for the prime minister and other politicians to take action to stop the march of fascism,” they wrote in the Aftonbladet newspaper.

In response, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said such attacks “must be taken very seriously”, according to the TT news agency.

The minister is expected to meet the campaigners on Tuesday.