Facebook user Ms Nisha Mohd Hussein, a discipline mistress at Madrasah Al-Ma’arif Al-Islamiah in Geylang posted in her Facebook that 3 of her students were attacked in Paya Lebar MRT station, at about 7.20am on Friday (1 Apr).
According to Ms Nisha, her students were allegedly kicked and hit by “a foreign Chinese middle-aged man wearing a red t-shirt, light brown bermuda with black boots carrying a green backpack while holding a white plastic bag filled with a heavy item.”
“The first victims was kicked at the left thigh, 2nd victim was hit by the plastic bag containing a heavy item and the 3rd victim was hit in the same manner on one of her eyes,” she wrote.
In her post, Ms Nisha said that a police report had been lodged and appealed for witnesses to come forward. Her post has since been made private but it is being widely shared on social media.
The school also released a statement on its Facebook page, stating that the affected students had been counselled and their parents contacted, and confirming that the matter was being investigated.
The Law and Home Affairs Minister, Mr K Shanmugam, has also commented on the topic saying the police “will get to the bottom of it and ensure that justice is done.”
At a closed-door dialogue on Wednesday (Mar 30) between 60 Madrasah students and Mr Shanmugam, a student from Madrasah Al-Maarif, Ms Afifah Shameemah Md Yusof, recounted her experience from two years ago and said:
“We were at a multi-racial camp and ironically someone made a terrorist joke about Muslims. And even though it was a joke, it of course affected us and hurt us deeply.”
Speaking after the closed-door dialogue, Mr Shanmugam urged the non-Muslim population to reach out and engage Muslims here so as to maintain the nation’s social cohesion. He also pointed out that Islamophobia plays “right into the hands of terrorists”.
“They want you to marginalise the Islamic community, so that when the minority Muslim community feels marginalised and they feel discriminated, that’s when you get fertile ground for recruitment,” he said.