The Muslim woman who was photographed looking at her phone while walking across Westminster Bridge has today hit back at trolls for targeting her by revealing her thoughts at the time were of ‘sadness, fear and concern’.
A picture of her holding one hand to her head while walking past a victim during the terrorist attack on Wednesday circulated on social media. She was criticised when a row broke out online with one social media user accusing her of ‘casually’ strolling past the injured woman.
But the woman, who has not been named, defended herself today and said that she had helped victims and was ‘devastated’ after witnessing the attack. 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.
‘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.’
It comes after photographer, Mr Lorriman, 28, defended her and said that he thought she looked ‘horrified’ and ‘distressed’.