A young British Muslim has described feeling "trapped and shocked" during an attack by two men who ripped off her hijab on a busy London high street.

The Goldsmiths student, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was crossing the road by the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London when she was approached from behind.

She told the Evening Standard: "I started to feel trapped and knew something was wrong so I asked him 'what's going on?' and he started pointing at my hijab. 

"The other guy, who I couldn't see, came from behind and grabbed it, shouting in broken English 'you look more beautiful without it'.

"I was so shocked and distressed that it took me a while to realise it was happening.

"I couldn't believe someone would attack me like that.

"He didn't physically harm me but I didn't feel safe at all."

The Metropolitan Police said the suspects made off towards Pelham Road after the assault.

Detective Constable Ben Cousin of Haringey Community Safety Unit said: "This was a shocking attack in broad daylight in the middle of a busy street.

"Racially and religiously-motivated crimes will not be tolerated. I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack to contact police."

The victim, who is in her early 20s and describes herself as a proud Muslim, said the attacker seemed surprised when she confronted him.

She said: "He was clearly Islamophobic and didn't want me to be wearing it.

"He clearly didn't find my beautiful enough, but I don't know why I should be impressing him anyway.

"I was shocked and then got angry and I started shouting at him saying 'how can you do that?'

"I don't think he thought I was going to stand up for myself, he thought I was just going to cry about it.


"It was a busy high street but not one person tried to stop him.

"Not one person came to check if I was ok, if we needed help, nothing."

She added that the assault has left her feeling unsafe on the street and that she and her friends are "living in fear" when they go out wearing a hijab.

She said: "My hijab is my religious faith, it's my identity, it's who I am.

"For him to come and pull it off - it saddens me. 

"It's 2016 and people are still hating on each other because of their faith and choices.

"If you’re out on the street and see this kind of hate happening not just to Muslims, whether you’re a woman or any racial group, you have to stand up and report it.

"If you stay quiet then nobody is going to care or change anything."

The first suspect is described as white, in his late 20s or early 30s, with blonde or ginger shaved hair and stubble.

Police said he was about 5ft 6in and wearing a burgundy coloured hooded top and carrying a Tesco bag in his right hand.

The second suspect was of Mediterranean appearance, in his late 20s or early 30s and clean shaven, with spiky hair. He wore a grey hooded top.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Haringey Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.