An 84-year-old woman originally from Turkey wearing a traditional headscarf was kicked to the ground on Thursday afternoon in an attack that was clearly motivated by anti-Islamic sentiments, according to a press release from Austria’s Islamic Religious Community Association (IGGiÖ).
Police confirmed that they received a report of the attack in the Favoriten area of Vienna, and are currently investigating. The perpetrator was a 30 to 35-year-old man who spoke and insulted the woman using a strong Viennese dialect.
Another nearby woman was also knocked down by the man, according to reports. Nearby teenagers who came to the assistance of the old woman were unable to prevent the man from escaping after committing the assault.
According to the IGGiÖ, the Turkish woman, who uses a cane, was initially in shock and could not be interviewed by police. She was taken to the emergency hospital in the 20th district.
A police spokesman said that investigations are ongoing, while the police wait to speak to the victims of the attack and are calling for witnesses.
According to the IGGiÖ, the case is unique in its brutality and shows that the xenophobic mood has further escalated. “As bad as this incident was, we hoped that it can strengthen opposition to trends of Islamophobia,” it said in a press release.