Hate crime

Spanish soccer hooligans assault pregnant woman for wearing niqab

Veiled women walking in Barcelona (JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Two football hooligans in Barcelona have been detained for allegedly assaulting a pregnant woman because she was wearing a niqab, according to police. The woman, eight months pregnant, was reportedly insulted by two men while walking through the city last week with her husband and two children. Police said that when the woman’s husband objected, the hooligans attacked him. When the woman tried to stop the men from assaulting her husband, they allegedly kicked her in the stomach.

The attackers, police said, were linked to the far-right Brigadas Blanquiazules group. Brigadas Blanquiazules is perhaps best known for their ultra-fervent support of Barcelona soccer club Espanyol, which officially banned members of the group from entering their stadium in 2010. While no harm was found to have been done to the woman and her baby, the two men are being charged for performing a hate crime, discrimination, and personal injury.

The attack was the latest in a surge of anti-Islam hate crimes in Spain, where 534 anti-Islam incidents were reported in the past year — in 2014, by comparison, less than 55 such incidents were documented, according to Mounir Benjelloun, head of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities. “We’re talking about this case because it has come out in the open,” said Benjelloun on Thursday. “But there are incidents in Spain every day.”

Read the full story at The Daily Star.

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