Muslim California student says she was attacked for wearing hijab

(KRON/CNN) — A university in California is promising a full investigation into an attack on a Muslim woman on campus. The student says a man attacked her at San Jose State University a day after the election.

Sophomore Esra Altun believes she was singled out by her attacker because of her head scarf or hijab.

“My attacker held on tight at the back of my head, pulled the scarf, and doing so, he choked me,” she said.

The incident occurred around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in one of the school’s parking garages.

The attacker said nothing, but Altun suspects the violence is somehow related to the election. “It’s a weird coincidence if it wasn’t a hate crime. It’s a weird coincidence that it happened right after Trump became President-elect.”

There are no surveillance cameras in the garage. Police are investigating, but SJSU president Mary Papazian says that, so far there, is no evidence the attack is a hate crime or motivated by the election results.

“We don’t know who the attacker is,” she said. “We don’t know if it’s an affiliate member of the community or not, we don’t know if there was an intention in it or not, so we don’t want to jump to conclusions.”

Altun was shaken and hurt the attack occurred at an institution known for its diversity. She says she would like to find and talk with the man who attacked her.

“Because I want to know why he did this,” she said. “I want to explain to him what the hijab means to me and just try to see where he is coming from and try to find a resolution between us.”

Altun says the perpetrator ran away without saying a word after the attack. She also says she did not get a good look at his face.

The president of the university’s Muslim Student Association says some students started removing their scarves after the incident.

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