On the 4th of March 2016, a student from Kings College London (KCL) was the victim of an Islamophobic crime, outside her university campus.
The student was described to be a female volunteer from the KCL Islamic society, taking part in the ‘Discover Islam Week’ initiative. Two men approached the stall that was being manned by volunteers and began hurling ‘racially aggravated threatening words’ towards the volunteers. One man then pulled off the niqab, which is the face veil covering, of a Muslim female student.
Humayun Saleem, President of FOSIS said, ‘If no members of the public were to intervene then there is no telling how badly the two men could have further assaulted the female student. It is of grave concern that attacks like this are taking place in public during open day light, and is indicative of the growth of anti Muslim sentiment across the UK’
Yusuf Hassan, the Vice president of student affairs at FOSIS added that, ‘This event is yet another example of the lack of action being taken by our universities and government to tackle Islamophobia. There is an urgent need for the government and the police to ensure an improved national strategy is initiated to tackle Islamophobia in the UK. It cannot be tolerated that visibly Muslim women should feel fearful of walking down the street’.
In addition, FOSIS is deeply concerned to hear reports from students who felt that the KCL security guards on site responded inadequately to the situation and did not do everything within their ability to avert the attack by these two men.
FOSIS will be writing to KCL to demand that the university begins an investigation immediately into this matter to evaluate how staff could have better responded to the incident. Furthermore, it will write to ask KCL how it is giving assurance to and providing support for the Muslim students who were involved in the attack. But also, how in general it is encouraging personal safety of students, in light of the increase of Islamophobic attacks taking place in the UK.
FOSIS welcomes the news that two men have been arrested by the police in link with the Islamophobic attack.
1. FOSIS (est. 1963) is the umbrella organisation of student groups in colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland, representing the interests of over 115,000 Muslim students.
2. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively visit our website www.fosis.org.uk