A British man who assaulted a Muslim teen with a packet of bacon during Ramadan has been captured and put in jail, according to BuzzFeed News.
The man, Alex Chivers, a 36-year-old from the London suburb of Waltham Cross, attacked 17-year-old Ikram Ali earlier this month while the teen was on the way to a polling station with her mother.
Chivers has been sentenced to 26 weeks in jail for the assault, which Ali described to BuzzFeed:
Ali said: “I was unable to see and breathe for a while and at this point I couldn’t understand why. I was being suffocated. I thought I was dead. I didn’t know what hit me. It was only when the bacon peeled off my face and it fell to the ground, and the male behind me started shouting ‘bacon, bacon, it’s bacon’ that I started to grasp what was happening to me.”
Ali told BuzzFeed that she believes the media is responsible for her attack.
“They misrepresent Muslims,” Ali told the site. “I’m an A-level student studying maths, biology, and chemistry, with hopes and dreams just like anyone else out there.”
Anti-Muslim attacks have been on the rise both in the U.S. and in the U.K.
Islamophobic incidents have increased fivefold in the wake of terrorist attacks in London and Westminster, according to data released by London Mayor Sadiq Khan. That same data also revealed a 40% increase in racist incidents compared to last year.
These numbers are likely conservative, since hate crimes tend to be under-reported by victims and law enforcement.
For Ali’s part, she tells BuzzFeed that she’s still optimistic:
“Islamophobia is real, and it is out there and because of the way Muslim women choose to dress, we’re unfortunately a target. However, I still choose to believe there’s more good out there than bad, and that my hijab will not hinder me in my life.”