Two men known to be neo-Nazis have been detained for physically attacking a pregnant Muslim woman and her husband in Barcelona, Spain. The woman was wearing a face veil, which was the source of unwanted attention.
On Thursday, Barcelona police reported that a Muslim woman was walking around Old Town in the Spanish seaside city with her husband and two children when two men began shouting insults at her for wearing niqab.
When her spouse reacted, the men began to beat him up and she tried to break up the fight. She was then shoved and kicked in the abdomen. A spokesperson for the Barcelona police explained the altercation.
He said, “The woman tried to intervene between the aggressors and her partner. At that moment, one of the attackers kicked the pregnant woman’s abdomen.”
Paramedics took the woman to the hospital for a gynecological examination to check for damages. Fortunately the unborn child was unharmed. The mother also did not sustain any permanent injuries.
Police have the men in custody for causing bodily harm and discrimination. They are probing the investigation as a hate crime against the woman. According to Spain's The Local, It is presumed that the men were soccer fanatics who had previous affiliations with the Brigadas Blanquiazules, a white supremacist group that supported the Espanyol soccer team in Barcelona.
Islamophobia on the European continent is alive and well, and not only with the existence of ultra-right groups that use hate speech and violence to cause intimidation to those who are different.
Would a ban on the face veil curb this sort of aggression, though?
While many conservatives argue that banning the burka and niqab could curb Islamic extremism, outlawing these types of clothing only suppresses some women more by keeping them at home. Spain has not enforced a ban on the face veil, but France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and parts of Italy have.
Banner photo credit: Twitter, @AviationFigure