• France's news in English

Pregnant Muslim woman attacked in France

Oliver Gee · 27 Mar 2015, 10:30

Published: 27 Mar 2015 10:30 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The 29-year-old woman, who was wearing a hijab, or Muslim headscarf, was hospitalized on Tuesday after being attacked on a street in Toulouse, southern France. 
According to reports the heavily pregnant woman who is due to give birth in mid-April was approached by two men after she had dropped off her children at at school.
One of the men is understood to have hit her several times, thrown her to the ground, and one point pulled a knife out.
The woman's husband, 33, has labelled the attack as Islamophobic, telling French newspaper La Depeche that one of the men grabbed his wife's hair, pulled at her veil while yelling 'none of that here' [pas de ça chez nous].
It is understood the attacker's friend stopped the attack, before the pair yelled racist abuse, reportedly threatened to kill the woman, and then fled the scene.
The woman is recovering, and her unborn baby is believed to be in good health. 
The victim's husband said that even though his wife was dressed in tracksuit pants and a jacket, it was the headscarf "that the man didn't agree with", adding that both he and his wife were "French and Muslim".
He added that his wife hasn't stopped crying since the attack.
Christophe Borgel, the local MP of Haute-Garonne, was outraged after hearing of the attack and it was "without a doubt" motivated by racism and anti-Muslim sentiment.
"I was shocked to learn of this attack. This French woman of Muslim faith was attacked because she was wearing the traditional headscarf," said Borgel in a statement sent to The Local.
"France does not tolerate any kind of racist attack, France will not tolerate any kind of aggression based on the religion of one of its citizens," he said.
"I condemn this act of extreme cowardice and inhumanity in the strongest terms."
France saw a similar incident in June, 2013, when a pregnant Muslim woman was attacked in the suburbs of Paris by two ‘skinheads’, allegedly for wearing an Islamic face veil. She later suffered a miscarriage, however it wasn't clear whether the loss of her baby was linked to the attack.
Story continues below…
Muslim headwear has long been a divisive issue in France. The country banned full-face veils in public 2010 and headscarves have been outlawed from state schools since 2004.
The rules were billed as an effort to enforce France’s idea that the public sphere should be free from religion as the country grapples with the question of how to best integrate its 5 million Muslims -  the largest population in Europe.
French authorities have been concerned by a rise in Islamophobia since the three jihadists carried out terror attacks on the streets of Paris in January.
In the two weeks following the shootings there were 128 anti-Muslim incidents registered - which is almost the same number as in the whole of 2014. 
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available