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Muslim women take self defence classes after spike in Hijab grab attacks in US

Many Muslim Women Have Posted On Social Media Describing 'hijab Grab' Attacks. A Number Of Other Muslim Women In Cities Across The Country Have Been Organising Self-defense Classes In Response To The Post Election Rhetoric And Apparent Spike In Hate Crimes, The Report Said.

PTI | Updated on: 22 Nov 2016, 06:46:30 PM
Muslim women in Hijab( File photo)


Many Muslim women across the US have turned to self-defence classes amid a spike in 'hijab-grab' incidents following Donald Trump's electoral triumph, according to a media report.

In the days following Trump's election, at least three organisations the Southern Poverty Law Center, Council of American-Islamic Relations and Anti-Defamation League tracked a notable spike in hate-crime incidents, The Washington Post reported.

Many Muslim women have posted on social media describing 'hijab grab' attacks. A number of other Muslim women in cities across the country have been organising self-defense classes in response to the post election rhetoric and apparent spike in hate crimes, the report said.

Zaineb Abdulla, who has been teaching basic self-defence classes in Chicago to help other women, was quoted as saying that she was about 8-years-old the first time someone spit on her for being Muslim.

The 24-year-old who wears a hijab and stands just over 5 feet tall told the Post that she is used to feeling the need to protect herself. Through her role as vice president of an organisation called 'Deaf Planet Soul' in Chicago, Abdulla has been teaching basic self-defence classes to help other women including those who are deaf or who wear a hijab.

The morning after Trump won the presidency, a number of Muslim women called Abdulla, asking her for a specific type ofself-defence training 'What could they do if someone tried to grab them by their head scarves?'

That same Wednesday, and in the days that followed, Muslimwomen in cities across the country reported being targeted for wearing hijabs. Abdulla immediately recruited help from a trainer, Misho Ceko, of Chicago Mixed Martial Arts, to teach women a set of moves to defend themselves in case someone tries to pull on their hijabs.

On the Sunday after the election day, Abdulla taught nine mostly Muslim women a two-hour 'hate crime survival seminar', during which they learned how to escape a 'hijab grab', how toidentify and report hate crimes, and what steps to follow as abystander.

"It gives us confidence," Abdulla said of the self-defence classes. The classes help women realise that "if someone grabsyou, you have the ability and the right to fight back," shesaid.

In Memphis, a Muslim activist named Kalimah Azeez met with local police officials to plan a self-defence course at a local mosque, McClatchy reported.

Participants will be able to learn 'escape and evadetactics' and watch video tutorials on how to use an emergency-response app to record an attack and alert the authorities. Other women are seeking out tools to help themfeel a sense of security, the report said.

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First Published : 22 Nov 2016, 06:38:00 PM

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