A Muslim woman was run over by a car during an anti-Muslim rally in Brussels, Belgium on April 4. The car reportedly drove at the woman without slowing down.
The anti-Muslim rally was occurring in Molenbeek, the Brussels area where the ISIS-linked terror attacks were allegedly planned, according to The Independent. During the protests, a white Audi drove through a police blockade and directly at a Muslim woman donning a hijab, as captured on video.
After hitting the woman, the car continued driving. The victim was seriously injured, though apparently conscious, and received treatment at the scene, reports the Daily Mail.
The demonstration by anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant activists was tenuous before the Muslim woman was run down.
Roughly 400 people chanted anti-Islam phrases, after which the area’s Muslim residents reportedly came out to counter protest. Belgian police had set up blockades to prevent conflicts between the protestors.
Police say that they have arrested the driver and passenger of the Audi, reports the Daily Mail. The suspects were identified as Redouane B. and Mohamed B., and both are believed to be Molenbeek residents.
Following the violent incident and mounting tensions in Brussels, local authorities instituted a ban on the anti-Islam rally and other rallies.
The incident comes as opposition to Muslims and immigrants escalates across Europe. Much of the anti-Muslim sentiment is likely in reaction to the ISIS-linked November 15 Paris attacks and March 22 attacks in Brussels.
Nick Lowles, head of the anti-racist group Hope Not Hate, warns that opposition to Muslims in Europe is “moving from the margins into the political mainstream,” reports The Guardian.
Anti-Muslim sentiments are rising in Europe amid the threat of ISIS terror attacks across the continent, and the ongoing refugee crisis that has brought overwhelmiong numbers of migrants to Europe from the Middle East.
Lowles says that anti-Muslim groups in Europe are not taken seriously by authorities.
“Groups are becoming more right-wing, many on the verge of being openly Nazi, and yet they are still categorized as a public order problem rather than as the extreme far right,” said Lowles.