By Mohamed Taha / ABC AU
A Muslim woman left severely shaken by a physical and verbal assault on a packed Sydney train on Monday night believes she was targeted because of her religion.
Hina, who wanted to be identified only by her first name, was on a train home from the city’s Town Hall station to Parramatta when she said she was assaulted.
She said she boarded the train about 5:30 pm, but found there were no seats available so stood near the stairs, and noticed “a guy come in”.
“He was tall. He looked angry,” she said.
The 30-year-old said the man appeared to want to use the stairs before hitting her with his shoulder.
“I thought maybe it’s a mistake so I just stepped back,” she said.
“Then he moved even closer to me and hit me three or four times with his shoulder, his bag. He kicked me with his foot. Then I realised he [was] intentionally attacking me so then I shouted.
“He said excuse me, then he pushed me, then he said ‘get off’, then f-words,” she said.
“He said ‘you kind of people, you block our way’. I was in deep shock.”
She said she became even more frightened when no-one tried to defend her, except for a woman who yelled at the man after the assault.
“It was a fully crowded train but nobody said anything. People were just listening. I know they were scared,” Hina said.
She tried to get off at Redfern to notify the station manager but the man got off at the same station.
“He passed by me and abused me verbally and went away,” she said.
Warning to women travelling alone
Hina reported the assault to Parramatta police, who are now investigating.
Police said the man was of Caucasian appearance, about 175cm tall, aged in his mid-30s, with a medium build, bald head and facial stubble, and wearing jeans and black and white shoes.
Hina wears Islamic head covering and said she felt the man targeted her because of her faith.
“The moment he entered he was looking angry at me,” she said.
“I was the only one on that train that was wearing the hijab [Muslim headscarf]. It was a forceful attempt to attack me.”
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