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UK Women Get Self Defense Lessons

The idea was first suggested by the Muslim group to face rising bigotry attacks against British Muslims donning hijab.

By OnIslam & Newspapers | 3 Feb 2012

A British Taekwondo champion will be offering Muslim women lessons about how to defend themselves against repeated attacks in the streets over their hijab, Islington Tribune reported on Friday, February 3.

“I first heard about this when I was running an Asian women’s self-defense group in East London,” Theresa Thomas, 52, said.

Thomas, a Taekwondo champ said she was invited by the One True Voice women’s charity to run classes for women wearing the hijab.

The idea was first suggested by the Muslim group to face rising bigotry attacks against British Muslims donning hijab.

“Then when I came to work in Finsbury Park, after One True Voice asked me, many of the women told me that muggers had been deliberately targeting them, taking the pin from their hijab and stabbing them in the head with it,” Thomas added.

Shamso Ibrahim, 25, from Finsbury Park, said her aunt had been a victim of a similar attack.

“She was walking down Seven Sisters Road and a man came for her hairpin,” she said.

“But luckily my aunt is a confident woman and grew up in Somalia knowing how to fight, so she ended up throwing her attacker to the floor.”

Hijab is an obligatory code of dress in Islam.

Records show that hostility against British Muslims, estimated at nearly two million, have been on the rise recently.

In September 2010, a leading British college banned Muslim women’s veil on campus in what officials called a security measure.

Later in January 2011, Tory minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi warned that Islamophobia has become normal and accepted in British society.


Theresa, who will be supporting a line-up of international martial arts athletes at London 2012 Olympics, hopes more women will be able to handle attackers.

“It’s not about your size, it’s about technique,” she told Islington Tribune.

“I teach 5ft 2in women to throw off 6ft 2in attackers.”

Theresa has been teaching women at Andover Youth Centre on Holloway’s Andover estate since November.

She said the women found it hard to defend themselves because they were often carrying shopping bags or had children with them.

Her classes on the Andover estate are due to finish next week.

Other classes would be offered later on the Elthorne and Cornwallis estates this month.



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