After a Muslim woman tried reporting to police the horrific racist abuse hurled against her by a stranger, police instead informed her that she was the one who could be arrested.
Dr. Naila Imran, a resident at Seven Kings hospital in Ilford, United Kingdom, was shocked after a motorcyclist rammed into her side mirror and knocked it off. Imran confronted the perpetrator to let him know he damaged her car.
The man then started yelling and swearing at the woman, calling her a “Muslim terrorist” and saying that she “should go back to [her] country.”
“I pulled up my window, locked the car doors and began to phone the police, and he started just kicking my car while abusing me,” said Imran.
The mother of two, who wears a traditional headscarf, said she was “scared for her life.”
Imran waited, and eventually, the man drove off, but not before Imran wrote down his license plate number, hoping that would serve as evidence of the crime.
Police thought otherwise. They told Imran that the man at fault would most likely get a warning and nothing else. After visiting her house and hearing her account, they said she “should have waited at the scene and found witnesses.”
Even more infuriating, the police warned Imran against pressing charges. Imran was told that if the man made a counter claim against her, she might be arrested.
“I have lived here for the last 16 years, I’m a doctor, I’ve educated my daughter and son here, I volunteered at the London Olympics, I help people in the community learn English. This is not how I should be treated,” said Imran.
Metropolitan police confirmed no further action was being taken on the case, leaving Imran to live with the abuse she suffered while the perpetrator gets away with as little as a warning.
After living through a traumatic event, police officers were simply unable to provide Imran with the support she deserves. The lack of effort to pursue this case displays a horrifying acceptance of Islamophobia within the rule of law.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said that there has been a 40 percent increase in racist incidents this year and a fivefold increase in Islamophobic attacks. Clear tolerance for this type of hate will only allow it to continue and hinder prevention efforts. The police are meant to protect the people — all people regardless of their identity.