What To Do If You Are Witnessing Islamophobic Harassment

A bystander's guide to help the person being targeted

1. Engage conversation.

Go to them, sit beside them and say hello. Try to appear calm, collected and welcoming. Ignore the attacker.

2. Pick a random subject and start discussing it.

It can be anything: a movie you liked, the weather, saying you like something they wear and asking where they got it.

3. Keep building safe space.

Keep eye contact with them and don't acknowledge the attacker's presence. The absence of response from you two will push them to leave the area shortly.

4. Continue the conversation until the attacker leaves and escort them [the victim] to a safe place if necessary.

Bring them to a neutral area where they can collect themselves; respect their wishes if they tell you they're OK and just want to go.

Marie-Shirine Yener is a freelance artist & illustrator, living and working in Paris. 

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