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Muslim woman wearing headscarf beaten, bitten in Vienna

NURBANU KIZIL
ISTANBUL
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Şeherben Durmaz speaking to the media with her husband Mahmut Durmaz (DHA Photo) Şeherben Durmaz speaking to the media with her husband Mahmut Durmaz (DHA Photo)

A Muslim woman going to work in the Austrian capital was attacked by an unidentified man, who punched and bit her on Monday, a Vienna-based Turkish news website reported, amid growing Islamophobia in Europe.

According to the website, 51-year-old Şeherben Durmaz, who is from East Turkistan, was attacked by a male aged between 25 to 30-years-old and fell to the floor.

As the man was beating her, she tried to scream and stop him by scratching his face, but the assailant then started to bite her fingers.

She continued by saying that the assailant kept on hitting her head and she suspected that it was not a robbing attempt.

Someone reportedly came to her rescue after she screamed for help, and the assailant fled the scene.

Her husband Mahmut Durmaz took her to hospital, where she received two stitches to her head.

Durmaz told the Anadolu Agency that she has been living in Vienna for 30 years and has been working at the local post office for the past 28 years.

"I've been living here for 30 years and this is the first time I've experienced such an incident. I didn't expect it, but I think he may have attacked me for my headscarf because he did not even see my face and attacked me from behind," she added.

Meanwhile, her husband said that the police are searching for the assailant but can't find him because there is no description of his features.

"We do not know who we should sue because we don't know the assailant, but we think it may be a racist attack," Durmaz said, and continued by saying that racism is on the rise in Austria.

Islamophobia in Europe has been increasing in recent years, with such incidents being witnessed in public. Restrictions on wearing the burkini, hijab and veils have also been recently debated in various countries, including France.

Muslims in Austria account for seven percent of the population with above 600,000 people, while Islam is the second major religion in the country.

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