18 July, 2015

Hate Crime Stories: Victimising the victim

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Category: European Action Day, hate crime, Islamophobia
Community Manager
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mus girlWritten by Marie Cucurella

Asseitou is a 16 year old teenage girl living in in France, in the small town of Trappes, close to Paris. She was attacked in August two years ago (2013), aggression which was islamophobic but also racist and sexist. While she was going home in the middle of the afternoon, two men in a car shouted at her. As she was not answering they came out and pulled off her veil, telling her Dirty black, dirty Muslim, go back to your country, take this off!. The two men took her a few meters away out of the main street, started fondling her and attacking her face with a sharp object. A young man passing by at this moment and telling them to leave the girl was enough to make the aggressors stop and go away. Asseitou was taken care of and brought to the closest hospital. She went to complain the day after the aggression.

It has to be highlighted that there was a climate of tension in Trappes since mid-July of this year, as some violent acts had already happened, this time with the police involved. In this context, there has been a political reaction and the French minister of the Interior has condemned this new manifestation of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance that damages and violates the Republican values and the principle of freedom of conscience. In France, Islam is too often stigmatized, amalgams are drawn between Islam and terrorism and verbal violence against Muslim is raising, all of which seems to lead some people to feel like they can now physically attack Muslims.

The Muslim community and some associations were supporting and helping the 16 year old girl in the complaint and legal process. However, through the process the teenage girl was subject of pressure from the police, questioning her testimony and calling her a liar. Her close friends were also summoned, without the presence of their parents even though they were under aged. These hard circumstances led Asseitou to attempt to kill herself two weeks after her aggression, jumping from a window of her flat, located on the fourth floor. She didn’t die and does not have any after-effects but her acts prove both the gravity of the situation and how it is never taken seriously enough.

To this day, some are still questioning the violence of the attack, but there is no doubt that Asseitou was aggressed. Still, the issue is not tackled seriously.

Sources: http://www.islamophobie.net/articles/2013/08/27/suicide-trappes-la-police-est-elle-responsable






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