Malden woman attacked by man accusing Muslims of Marathon bombings
Every day, Heba Abolaban of Malden checks on her family in war-strafed Syria, where water, bread and electricity are in short supply. She was far more worried about them than about herself on Wednesday morning when she put her baby daughter in a stroller and headed into the sunshine to a play group with a friend.
But as they strolled down Commercial Street, an angry-faced man charged toward the petite woman, his hand balled into a fist. He punched her hard in the shoulder and screamed curses inches from her face. Then he pointed at her and walked away shouting.
“He said, ‘(Expletive) you. (Expletive) you Muslims, You are terrorists, you are the ones who made the Boston explosion,’” said Abolaban, recalling the episode in a phone interview Thursday. “I was really, really completely shocked. I didn’t know what to do. Then I realized what happened. I was crying and crying.”
However, there is a (relatively) positive side to this incident as well:
The police arrived within minutes, soothed her and took her statement. Then the calls came: Mayor Gary Christenson called her at home, then Police Chief Kevin Molis phoned.Of course, this was in Massachusetts. God only knows how this sort of incident is playing out for any Muslims (or people who even look vaguely Muslim/Middle-Eastern, including...myself) in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee...or even here in Michigan (remember Vincint Chin?)
“They were there within two minutes. They were so kind. They were so helpful,” she said. “The Malden police chief – he called me two times.”
The Islamic center in Malden also checked on her. She is scheduled to teach a class there tomorrow on breast cancer detection.
Molis, who started as a beat officer in Malden, said the attack was one of the first things he brought up at Thursday’s morning roll call. He said his officers are trained to serve the diverse city of Malden, home to immigrants from China, Haiti, Uganda, Vietnam and more.
And so it goes.