Heavily pregnant woman in Islamaphobic attack calls for solidarity

Rana Haider's Facebook post after the attack

A heavily pregnant Muslim woman who was repeatedly punched and stamped on in the head in a random horrific Islamophic attack in Sydney has called for solidarity.

Rana Elasmar, 31, who is 38 weeks pregnant, was with friends in a cafe in Parramatta, a Sydney suburb, when Stipe Lozina, 43, allegedly approached their table and spoke to them.

Lozina then allegedly leaned over and punched Ms Elasmar several times in the head and upper body, causing her to fall to the ground as her friends tried to hold him back. He then allegedly stamped on her head.

Ms Elasmar was wearing a hijab and police are looking at Islamophobia as a potential motive. According to reports, Lozina made anti-Muslim comments to Ms Elasmar.

Ms Elasmar suffered bruises and swelling and was taken to hospital but later discharged. Police described her as “emotionally and physically traumatised” by the assault which they said was random and unprovoked.

The welfare of her unborn child has not been revealed.

On her Facebook page today Rana Haidar, who was born and raised in Australia, called on all Australians to come together to protect innocent people from racial and religious attacks. Around 5,600 Facebook users have liked or loved or expressed sadness on her post.

Lozina was charged with affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was refused bail to appear in court on December 5.

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Written by

Shirin Aguiar