Muslim woman slams vile trolls who used photo of her on Westminster Bridge to spread hate

Mark Chandler
Photo: The image was used online to stir up hate: Jamie Lorriman

A Muslim woman pictured in shock on Westminster Bridge has spoken of her horror after the photo was used by a vile troll to incite hatred.

The image appeared to show the woman walking past one of the terror attack victims while clutching a phone.

One troll tweeted the image saying: “Muslim woman pays no mind to the terror attack, casually walks by a dying man while checking phone.”

But in an account given to Tell Mama, a project recording Islamophobic incidents, the woman spoke of her horror at the way the picture was used.

She said: “I’m shocked and totally dismayed at how a picture of me is being circulated on social media.

"To those individuals who have interpreted and commented on what my thoughts were in that horrific and distressful moment, I would like to say not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, I’ve also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia."

She went on: "My thoughts at that moment were one of sadness, fear, and concern.

"What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be of any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to the victims.

"I then decided to call my family to say that I was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station.

"My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence”.

Earlier, Mr Lorriman had spoken out on her behalf, accusing people of being "selective" in the way they used the image.

He told ABC: "Personally I think she looks distressed in both pictures.

“To assume she was ignoring someone is impossible to know, the look on the woman's face, she's horrified, she's in the middle of a traumatic situation.”

The troll was blasted online for stirring up tensions, with people branding him "the real monster".

Vicky Forster wrote: “You are a complete embarrassing mess of a person. Kindly crawl back to the pond you came out of. Stupidity embodied.”

Wednesday’s attack left at four innocent people dead, as Khalid Masood ploughed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing into Parliament’s gates.