A HEAVILY pregnant woman was hospitalised after she was punched and stomped on in a shocking “Islamophobic attack” in Australia.
CCTV footage shows a man approaching three women wearing hijabs as they chatted in a Sydney cafe on Wednesday afternoon.
He can then be seen lunging across the table to repeatedly punch one of the women before stamping on her head.
It is believed the 31-year-old woman victim – who is 38 weeks pregnant – was randomly targeted in the sickening public attack.
After several frenzied punches the woman fell to the ground and was stamped on before bystanders wrestled the assailant away.
Police said a 43-year-old suspect has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray and denied bail.
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 members of the community in stopping the assault the victim may very well have sustained much more serious injuries," added police inspector Luke Sywenkyj.
The woman was taken to hospital following the attack and later discharged after being seen by medics.
A recent report by researchers at Charles Sturt University found Islamophobia in Australia was "a continuous phenomenon" and women wearing headscarves are especially at risk.
Of 113 female victims who reported being physically intimidated or harassed, researchers found 96 per cent were wearing one.
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