SYDNEY – Pregnant Muslim woman, who is 38 weeks along, was brutally attacked by a random man at a western Sydney cafe late Wednesday.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, 31-year-old Rana Elasmar was with friends, all of whom wear headscarves, in a cafe in Parramatta when Stipe Lozina, 43, allegedly leaned over their table, punched her in the head and stomp on her after she fell to the floor.
A video from security cameras shows Lozina approaching the group, starting a brief conversation and then attacking the woman. He punched Elasmar at least 14 times in the head and then stomped on her twice after she fell.
A heavily pregnant Muslim woman was brutally attacked, repeatedly punched and stomped in the head by a man in a #Sydney cafe.
— DOAM (@doamuslims) November 21, 2019
A man allegedly made a comment about Muslims before punching the woman, the newspaper said.
Following the attack, the man was taken to Parramatta police station where he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray.
Lozina appeared without legal representation before Parramatta Local Court on Thursday, submitting an unsuccessful application for bail.
Elasmar was taken to Westmead Hospital for observation and was later released.
The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) said on Thursday the man was heard “yelling anti-Islamic hate speech at the victim and her friends.”
“This was clearly a racist and Islamophobic attack and we expect it to be treated as such,” said AFIC president Rateb Jneid.
“If it were not for the brave actions of these members of the community in stopping the assault the victim may very well have sustained much more serious injuries,” said police inspector Luke Sywenkyj.