۷ مهر ۱۴۰۱ |۳ ربیع‌الاول ۱۴۴۴ | Sep 29, 2022
Justice for Hoda

Online petition was launched after 17-year-old school girl had her hijab ripped off in an attack filmed by other students.

Hawzah News Agency – Thousands have signed a petition seeking justice for a Muslim student in New Zealand who had her hijab ripped off in an alleged hate crime.

Hoda al-Jamaa, 17, suffered a concussion last Wednesday when her hijab was removed by three girls at the Otago Girls' High School in Dunedin.

"Two of the girls held me and one hit me and after I fell on the ground, she ... was still hitting my face and my body. I was waiting for the teacher to help me," Jamaa told local publisher RNZ.

She said the girls took off her hijab and filmed her, and that the video had now been shared with boys and girls in the school. She added that the perpetrators attempted to do the same to two of her friends.

"My hijab... is my culture and my religion. My hijab is everything for me and I love my hijab and those other girls love their hijabs."

Local police said they had identified the girls involved in the incident and had launched an investigation.

"This altercation has caused significant disquiet and distress for the girls, their families, and the wider Muslim community," police were quoted as saying.

"Violence or threatening behaviour including any involving hate, hostility, or prejudice regarding race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age is not acceptable."

The school released a lengthy statement saying it had "no tolerance for unkind comments, racism, bullying or any other form of discrimination".

'Justice for Hoda'

The incident sparked local and international media attention, with a petition calling for justice receiving nearly 60,000 signatures in two days.

Several social media users shared the hashtag #JusticeforHoda to highlight the incident and condemn Islamophobia in the country.

On 15 March 2019, 51 people were killed in Christchurch when a gunman opened fire on worshippers at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.

Palestinian-Dutch supermodel Bella Hadid shared the campaign on her Instagram feed on Thursday.

"It makes me angry and sick to my stomach," Hadid wrote.

"We need to change this mindset of immediate judgement. Teach our friends, children, parents, families that wearing a hijab, being Muslim, or being anything other than white in general, does not equal being a threat or different than anyone else."

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