San Jose State student says she was attacked for wearing a hijab

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose State University is promising a full investigation after a student says she was attacked on campus for wearing a hijab.

ABC7 News was first to speak with the victim.

Sophomore Esra Altun wears a hijab on campus. "This is who I identify as. This is my religion. This is my life. This represents everything I am as a person," she said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the day after the presidential election, someone else allegedly used her scarf as a weapon while on the third floor of the West Garage on campus.

"Someone came behind me, pulled my scarf all the way back. My scarf is tied around my neck, so when he did it, it choked me," she said. "When he was trying to pull me down, my back arched in a very different way. And I was in pain and for that pain to stop, I pulled forward I fell and slammed hard on my knees."

The man didn't say a word and ran off. Altun says he was wearing a black hoodie and sweatshirt, khakis and all black vans, but she didn't get a good look at his face.

"We believe our hijab protects us from every day evils. And for someone to pull it like it's a sweater or some other type of cloth that doesn't mean anything is just heartbreaking," Altun said.

Many Muslim women are debating whether or not to wear a hijab or head scarf when out in public. The political climate has them concerned and they believe a Donald Trump presidency may embolden more people to act out against them.

Dooa Abdel-Rahman, president of San Jose State's Muslim Student Association, said, "Some of them actually did decide to take off the scarf and some of the parents were concerned with their children. So they either told them to stay home or to take off their scarf."

"This is my home and I want my rights protected. I want other people's rights protected. And I want to live safely. That's all I want," Altun said.
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