Indian student racially abused for defending hijab-clad woman in UK

A 28-year-old Indian-origin man’s decision to defend a hijab-clad woman in the UK has resulted in him being racially abused.

Rickesh Advani, a political science student at Cambridge University, confronted a white man when he made sexist remarks towards a Muslim woman. But the man responded by shouting “Brext, go back home.”

The incident happened at a Cambridge hospital when a female patient bent over to put her bag down and the man commented,”spread ’em” and to “get your t*** out.” He was heard saying, “no not you, love” to a woman wearing a hijab.

“I was absolutely disgusted by what I had heard and couldn’t believe that in 2018 people can be so bigoted,” Advani was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “At the very first opportunity I told him to politely stop and hoped that would be the end of it.”

“Any reasonable human in that situation would have accepted his wrong but he became unnecessarily aggressive to me,” Advani, who also runs a charity  for homeless people, said.

Advani says he is disappointed by how the other patients reacted, as none of them came to support him when he defended the racist and sexist remarks.

“I was very shocked that I was the only one that stood up and said ‘no this is not right’. Even when I asked someone to call the police, everyone just sat their and I hoped people would stick up for something so wrong,” he said.

The Cornford House Surgery, where the incident occurred, has apologised.

Simon Gridley, a surgery manager at Cornford House Surgery, wrote in a letter to him: “I would like to apologise for our handling of the racial abuse you received on that day. My colleague mentioned that you felt you were unfairly treated as you (were made to feel) that you were the guilty party, when you had, quite rightly, stood up for another member of the public.

“I know an apology is NOT the same as getting it right the first time, but again, I sincerely apologise.”