Turkish official slams Islamophobic attack in Australia

Turkish official slams Islamophobic attack in Australia

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Turkish official slams Islamophobic attack in Australia

Turkey’s communications director on Nov. 22 condemned an Islamophobic attack against a pregnant 31-year-old Muslim woman wearing a headscarf in Sydney, Australia, calling it an "act of hate".   

"Attacking women with headscarves and any other religious garment is reprehensible whether it happens in Turkey or Australia or anywhere else," Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.  

Altun stressed that all religions must be practiced freely and in peace, urging all governments to take measures to ensure this.

Rana Elasmar was punched and kicked by a 43-year-old resident Stipe Lozina, while she was sitting in a cafe with her friends, who were also wearing headscarves, the New South Wales Police Department said on Nov. 21.

Security footage of the incident sent shockwaves on social media.

Lozina, who hurled racist slurs at the victim during the attack, was remanded into custody.

"After making a comment about Muslims, you approached and punched her in the head 14 times. I will consider this as a very strong case against you," Chief Judge Tim Keady said.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) and Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), the two main Islamic organizations in the country, condemned the attack.

"It is terrible to attack a pregnant woman sitting quietly with her friends. This was clearly a racist and Islamophobic attack and we expect it to be treated as such," Rateb Jneid, the head of AFIC, told Anadolu Agency.

Elasmar was discharged from the hospital after treatment.