A Muslim schoolgirl today (mon) told how she was ‘strangled’ with her own hijab and punched during an horrific racial attack as she was travelling on a bus.
Redana Al-Hadi, 14, was punched repeatedly by a woman who had shouted racial slurs at her while she was travelling with her 13-year-old sister, Wadaad.
Redana was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured eye socket after the attack, which she says has left her “too scared to get the bus to school”.
The teenagers were travelling home from school when the woman, who was travelling with a man, began to “mock” their accent and abuse them about their headwear.
The argument then spilled out of the bus and onto the road, where the woman knocked Redana to the ground and beat her.
Mobile phone footage of the horrifying incident was shared online and shows the woman on top of Redana as blows rained down.
Brave Redana has now spoken out about the ordeal, which took place shortly after 4.30pm on Wednesday, December 4.
Redana, of Sheffield, South Yorks., said: “As we were getting off the bus he stood up and screamed the N word towards my friend and then my friend reacted but a little boy at the back of the bus stood up and said don’t call her that, we’re black.
“Then the lady stood up and started pushing the man towards the back of the bus and then she punched him.”
Redana says a short argument broke out between the man and the woman – who are thought to have known each other – before the man grabbed one of the children.
She said the woman then turned on her and began shouting racial slurs.
Redana added: “She then threw herself at me and dragged me out the bus, and as she dragged me to the floor she strangled me with my hijab and then my little sister tried to stop it and the man grabbed my sister by her waist and threw her into oncoming traffic.
“She kicked me in my neck and knocked me out with her fist and started smashing my head and stamping on me while my arm was over my face and I thought I broke my arm.
“My face is all swollen and it’s a mess.”
She said she has been left traumatised and scared to leave the house.
She added: “I feel targeted because I’m a Muslim girl and I’ve not gone back to school because I’m too scared to go back on the bus or to leave my house.
“I’m scared of adults harassing me and I already had bad eyesight, I wear glasses, and the eye she damaged is my good eye.”
The girls’ mother Racheda Ali, 51, said: “When I got the phone call from my Wadaad my youngest saying ‘mum she’s killing my sister, she’s attacking Redana and attacking us’, I just didn’t know what to do.
“When we got there all the children were crying because they were all scared and shaking.
“My daughter was having a panic attack, it’s just ridiculous what they did to her.”
A 40-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man were arrested by South Yorkshire Police, who said the incident “remains under investigation”.
The solicitor representing the family, Arshaid Bashir of Adam Law Solicitors, said:
“This is an assault on a child where derogatory language has been used.
“It is a racially aggravated assault.
“There was serious harm to a child who was attacked due to her appearance.
“The CPS ought to have been consulted prior to any decision being made. Public duty requires the perpetrator to be prosecuted.
“At the very least the perpetrator should have been charged with affray as part of joint enterprise with the co-accused as unlawful violence was used towards another which caused other persons to fear for their safety.
“There are aggravating features in this case as it was a busy public area, children were present and it was a sustained attack.”