An off-duty hijab-clad Muslim police officer was called “ISIS” and told to go back to her “country” by a white man who also pushed her 16-year-old son, the latest in a series of incidents in which headscarf-wearing women have been targeted in the US following Donald Trump’s win.
Officer Aml Elsokary, who was off duty and wearing her hijab, dropped off her son in Brooklyn. After parking her car, she returned to the scene to find her son being shoved by the suspect, a white man in his 30s. When the officer — a native New Yorker — approached, the man said, “ISIS (expletive), I will cut your throat, go back to your country!”
Elsokary did not identify herself as a police officer, and was unarmed, the New York Daily News reported, citing police sources. The suspect then fled the scene. Police were trying to track him down. The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is probing the episode as a bias incident which took place on Saturday.
Officer Elsokary — who proudly wears her hijab on duty – was touted as a hero by the New York city mayor after she ran into a burning building to save an elderly man and baby girl in April 2014. Responding to a call about a fire over the police radio, Elsokary and her partner had rushed to a smoke-filled building.
The decorated officer had joined the force shortly after the September 11 terror attacks to “show people that the terrible acts of that day contradicted the teachings of Islam,” Mayor Bill de Blasio had said at a 2014 dinner. The mother-of-five had received a medal for her bravery.
Saturday’s incident comes amid a slew of intimidation and assault cases that have been reported across the country against hijab-clad women following Trump’s win. On Thursday, a Muslim student was allegedly assaulted aboard a subway train by three drunk white men who repeatedly screamed “Donald Trump!” and hurled anti-Islam slurs before trying to rip her hijab off.
Earlier in December, a Hijab-clad Muslim student was allegedly struck in the face with a glass bottle in broad daylight at the University of Washington campus in Seattle. In another incident, a hijab-clad woman was allegedly accosted at a US store by another customer who called her a “terrorist” and told her to “get out” of the country. Also, a Muslim student’s hijab was allegedly ripped off and her hair pulled down by a classmate at a school in Minnesota.