"An attack on our freedoms:" Muslim Woman Beat, Hijab Ripped off During Attack on Milwaukee's South Side

NOW: “An attack on our freedoms:“ Muslim Woman Beat, Hijab Ripped off During Attack on Milwaukee’s South Side

Milwaukee city officials are calling an attack on the city's south side a hate crime. A woman was rushed to the hospital after she says a man grabbed her head scarf and beat her to the ground.

This attack happened less than a block away from the Islamic Center of Milwaukee. While the woman will be okay, people are pretty shaken up and have no doubt in their mind that this was a hate crime.

"Almost always has a smile on her face. One of those people who brings life to a room."

Munjed Ahmad says before sunrise on Monday, a friend of his came to the Islamic Center to pray. As she started her short walk home, a man pulled her hijab, yelled curse words, then beat her. 

"He started to continue to pull on it while punching her and he started to hit her. He then throws her to the ground and starts to kick and stomp her."

"We do believe it was a hate crime."

"The first thing that this individual does is grab the biggest symbol that she is a Muslim."

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee has been there for decades. Ahmad says nothing violent like this has ever happened and that they have a great relationship with neighbors. Since the attack, they've gotten county-wide support.

"I'm talking to the community to say this cannot happen, it is not at all acceptable."

"It's a detestable crime and an attack on our freedoms."

"The leadership of our country has almost made it okay to hate and I think we are seeing ramifications of that."

Ahmad says even as they've been strengthening their security plan, they're not only thinking about the congregation but everyone around them. 

"One thing we had not given thought to until the incident on Monday was maybe having a patrol in the neighborhood to make sure everyone is safe."

Another thing they thought didn't make sense was when the attacker just ran away. He left without her purse or valuables. His description is pretty vague but county officials say if anyone heard or saw anything to come forward. 

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