Hijabi woman in London accuses police of Islamophobia

London (IINA) – A British Muslim hijabi woman has accused Thames Valley Police of Islamophobia after they stopped her because she fitted the description of a robber in Oxford on Saturday.

Londoner Faten Jammoul was enjoying a day out in the historic city with her sister and father when a group of community support officers (PCSOs) approached them and asked for their details,IBTimes News reported.

Jammoul refused to do so, which precipitated a six-minute stand-off, caught on mobile video by her sister and subsequently uploaded to Facebook with accusations of prejudice made against the force.

The video has since been removed but was seen by IBTimes UK. “Today I witnessed first-hand how Islamophobia and racism have escalated to such an extent that me an ordinary, respectable, law abiding citizen should be stopped by Thames Valley Police,” she wrote on Facebook.

Jammoul and her family were stopped because police were searching for “Middle Eastern or eastern European ladies in headscarves walking around robbing people”.

The police remained polite and courteous throughout their interactions with Jammoul, who was incensed at being asked to assist the police when she had done nothing wrong.

“You see all these people that are walking past, they’re looking at me like a criminal because you’re standing there and you’ve stopped me for no reason,” she said.

She refused to assist the PCSOs, citing their alleged bias against Muslims on several occasions.

The PCSOs were unable to convince her they were following procedures and wanted to be able to contact her and her family in the future should they have been wanted for connection with the robberies.

“I’m not giving you any information, you’re talking nonsense, and you’re wasting my time. This is a crappy impression of Oxford that I’ve got thanks to you guys,” she said.

“I come down here for two hours, sightseeing, taking a few pictures, going about my business but you lovely people have stopped me because I fit the description of a robber or a thief.”

A few minutes into the incident, a police officer joined the PCSOs and took charge of the situation. He established via radio that the family do not fit the descriptions of the robbers, who were wearing dark headscarves whereas Jammoul’s was light coloured.

Jammoul demanded an apology, but he refused, saying: “We are entitled to ask these questions we are entitled to stop you to clarify the version of events.”

Jammoul then continued to accuse the police of Islamophobia. The officer told his colleagues: “Come on. When she’s got no audience, she’ll behave herself.”

Source: International Islamic News Agency