Just two days ago London was attacked by a British Islamic radical under the name of Khalid Masood.
The 52-year-old was born and raised in Kent and was known to police for a range of previous convictions including GBH, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.
At 2:42pm on Wednesday evening, Masood drove a hired Hyundai 4×4 onto the pavement of Westminster Bridge at speed, ploughing into pedestrians before stabbing a police officer to death. In total he killed four people and was killed himself.
However, despite most people across the globe uniting in the fight against terror while understanding that attacks such as these have nothing to do with Islam, some felt the need to share one image.
The image shows a Muslim woman, who is clearly in distress, walking across Westminster Bridge. The image was taken entirely out of context and intended to falsely suggest that the woman was doing nothing to help the victims of the despicable attack.
[tweet https://twitter.com/txvoodoo/status/844652205365977089 conversation=”false”]
Now, the young woman has released a statement to charity Tell MAMA, about the attack and about the fact she was the subject of such horrible xenophobia.
In the statement, she said:
I’m shocked and totally dismayed at how a picture of me is being circulated on social media.
To those individuals who have interpreted and commented on what my thoughts were in that horrific and distressful moment, I would like to say not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, I’ve also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia.
— TellMAMAUK (@TellMamaUK) March 24, 2017
My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern.
What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims.
I then decided to call my family to say that I was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station.
My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence.
Our thoughts go out to all those affected, either directly or indirectly, by Wednesday’s heinous and cowardly attack.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.