By Zayn Rajan
A teenager in the Parisian suburb of Trappes – which was the location of violent confrontations between youths and the police last month – was the victim of a vicious, hate crime motivated attack by two “European-looking” men on the evening of August 12.
The victim recalls her assaulters offending her as they cried out racist and ant-Muslim remarks before wielding a boxcutter. The French teenager also told of how she was helpless as the assailants ripped off her veil, forced her onto the ground and then released several blows, scarring multiple areas of her face and throat.
It was only upon the intervention of a third man, witness to the attack, that the assailants stopped their brutality and fled the crime scene in a car.
According to a source of French daily Le Parisien, the teenager victim was driven to hospital in Trappes in order to undergo an examination of the “light scratch marks” across her face and throat.
Having reported the assault to her local police force the following day, an official investigation has now commenced as CCTV images are analysed with a view of trying to trace any other witnesses of the incident.
The police said that one of the two assaulters has a “shaved head”.
However, it has yet to be established whether the French victim was wearing just the hijab (headscarf) or the niqab, which is the full Islamic covering and has been made illegal to wear in public since 2011.
Interior Minister of France, Manuel Valls, spoke to French television BFMTV in order to censure the attack and express his “indignation” at the occurrence.
“I severely condemn this newest demonstration of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance,” Valls told reporters in his statement.
He has also assured that bringing justice to the teenager’s assailants was a priority of the local police force.
“Police services have been fully mobilised so that the authors of this unacceptable attack are identified, found, arrested and handed over to the courts.”
The assault on the teenager in Trappes is the latest case in a series of French Islamophobic attacks, targeted at Muslim women wearing the veil.
Last month, police who stopped a women observing the hijab sparked two days of rioting in Trappes involving violent clashes between protesters and Police in the Parisian town.
Prior to that incident, in June, another Muslim woman suffered a miscarriage after being reportedly attacked by skinheads in Argenteuil (another suburb in the French capital). However, it remains unclear whether the women’s loss of her baby was a direct consequence of the abuse.
That assault was not the only one in the suburb in the space of a month.
Approximately three weeks previously, a woman also wearing the niqab was victimised in a similar approach – each of the Argenteuil attacks were either side of after a clash between the Muslim community of the town and local police who attempted to arrest a women for wearing the niqab in public, a violation of national French law.