herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Saudi woman punched on Dublin Bus by man who ‘hates Muslims’

Dublin Bus. File Picture
Dublin Bus. File Picture

A Saudi Arabian mum was assaulted in a racial attack on a Dublin Bus by a man who told her he hated Muslims.

College student  Mashael Khayyat (31) was going from Trinity College to the Cabra Road, Dublin 7 to collect her daughters when the man approached her on the No  70 bus as she travelled along Pearse Street on on Tuesday, 8th September.

In an interview on the Pat Kenny Show this morning, she said the man approached her and said “Allahu Akbar”.

When Mrs Khayyat asked what the man meant, he told her Muslims “kill people”.

“I said no, we do not kill people,” she said. “Then he hit me in my shoulder and said well ... I hate Muslims. I was shocked and frightened.”

“But I think the anger inside his heart against Muslims or Islam wasn’t satisfied when I smiled at him so he expressed his feelings by hitting me hard in my left shoulder and said ‘Well, I hate Islam’”.

Scene

The gardai were called to the scene by the driver.

However, Mashael said she was terrified waiting for the gardai.

“I was really afraid. If he had already hit me, who is to say, he won’t hit me again? I was shaking.”

The gardai arrived in a couple of minutes later and  the man was removed from the bus.

Since then, Mashael said she has been afraid for safety and worries about coming into town.

"But now, since that day, I didn't go, because I feel really afraid."

Khayyat said the media portrayal of Muslims is part of the reason for the attack.

“A lot of people have ignorance about Islam ... How can you correct the image if the media just show the negative image? They just highlight the dark side.”

Dublin Bus said the man had been removed from the bus and CCTV footage would be made available to the gardai if the matter was to go further.

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