Heba Abolaban (pictured far right) says she was walking with a friend on Commercial Street when the man suddenly punched her left shoulder and started shouting at the group. Both were wearing hijabs at the time.
“He was screaming, ‘F*** you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F*** you!’” Abolaban said. “Oh my lord, I was extremely shocked.”
“I did not say anything to him. Not even that we aren’t terrorists…he was so aggressive.” Abolaban says the man’s verbal assault continued for two minutes before he left. She then called 911 and her husband. “The police came and were so kind and helpful,” she said.
The incident also comes after CNN’s John King mistakenly quoteda source saying a “dark-skinned male” had been apprehended in connection with the bombings.
Abolaban came to America with her husband from Syria to further their careers. She finished a six-month obeservership at Mass General Hospital last year. She also described Islam as a “religion of peace.”
“Even if a Muslim man was the one behind the Boston Marathon blasts, he does not represent our beautiful and peaceful religion,” she added.
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson called Abolaban to let her know that the attack won’t be tolerated.
“I am simply outraged that such an act has occurred in Malden, a community that takes pride in its diversity and embraces people of all cultures and backgrounds,” Christenson wrote via e-mail. “I have been in contact with Heba and am relieved that she and her child were not seriously injured.”