Attacker tried to strangle Muslim woman with her own hijab

A Muslim woman was left degraded and ashamed after her hijab was ripped from her head and used to strangle her. Barka Ali-Abdulla told a court she was left afraid for her life and unable to go out after she was attacked by Tanya Squires. Ms Abdulla, a Somali refugee, said she was left so devastated she is thinking of leaving Britain after living here for more than 20 years.

Squires, 21, who is three months pregnant, hurled a stone at her head in an unprovoked attack near Churchill Square, Brighton, in August. When Ms Abdulla, the mother of a young daughter, turned round Squires spat in her face and launched a vicious assault on her, Brighton Magistrates Court was told yesterday. Amanda Burrows, prosecuting, said: “Squires punched her hard in the eye and then pulled off her hijab, a traditional headscarf, which she used to try to strangle Ms Abdulla.”

Squires was given a five month prison sentence suspended for a year and was ordered to pay £200 compensation to her victim. She was also ordered to wear an electronic tag and not go out between 8pm and 6am until February 5.

The Argus, 13 December 2008