Police have arrested two men for â€œusing racially aggravated threatening words and behaviourâ€Â after a muslim studentâ€™s niqab was pulled off outside the Strand campus earlier today.
The niqab is a veil worn by some muslim women to cover their whole face except their eyes.
Students have accused security from Kingâ€™s College London of â€œstanding idly byâ€ for twenty minutes and discouraging students from intervening as the incident took place.
Geography MA student Mahamed Abdullahi said â€œI had to put myself in harms way to protect the Muslim women who were being verbally and physically assaulted after Kingâ€™s security just stood there and were being non-responsive.â€
Fatima Ali who was present when the attacks took place said â€œsecurity only called the police when the animal rights activists said the men were being aggressive but not when someone complained about a Muslim womanâ€™s niqab being pulled downâ€.
Eyewitnesses, who wish to remain anonymous, told Roar! that the two men who were arrested approached the Islamic Society stall and began throwing leaflets on the stall before reaching for the Muslim womanâ€™s niqab.
Kingâ€™s have said in a statement and an email sent to all students that â€œtwo security managers and a senior member of staff arrived on the scene and positioned themselves between both parties and attempted to defuse the situation. The two men were asked to leave the area but they refused. The police were called by security at 1.10pm and arrived at 1.50pm.”
However, other eyewitnesses who wished to remain anonymous told Roar! that security guards from Kingâ€™s went back inside the Strand building after the incident began.
The female Muslim students were outside the Strand campus with stalls as part of the Discover Islam Week initiative organised by KCL Islamic Society.
Discover Islam week is a week long initiative organised by the Islamic Society that aims to dispel the myths and misconceptions the general public have about Islam.
The attack outside the Strand campus comes in the wake ofÂ statistics released by the Met PoliceÂ showing that hate crimes against Muslims in London have risen by 70% in the last year.
Hareem Ghani co-founder of the anti sexual harassment campaignÂ â€œIt Stops Hereâ€Â said â€œthere is no point for Kingâ€™s to champion initiatives like ‘It Stops Here’Â and commit to stamping out sexual harassment if they cannot extend the same courtesy to Muslim students â€“ especially â€œvisiblyâ€ Muslim women who face the brunt of these attacks.â€
KCL Islamic Society President Issa Ruhani said â€œWe call for an investigation into this incident. Had this been any other student group, would the response of the College Security be the same? We feel that there has been a failure in the duty of the College to protect students, especially in this climate of widespread Islamophobia and anti-Muslim violence.â€
In 2014 theÂ Muslim prayer room signs at Guyâ€™s CampusÂ were defaced but no action was taken by the university due to a lack of evidence.
*Article was updated at 20:45 to include statement from King’s College London.