Saudi woman punched on Dublin Bus by man who said he hated Islam

Attack: The incident happened on the No 70 bus
Attack: The incident happened on the No 70 bus

A woman from Saudi Arabia has spoken to Newstalk about being attacked on a Dublin Bus just because she was a Muslim.

Mashael Khayyat, a 31-year-old lecturer who is studying at Trinity, was travelling on the 70 bus on Pearse Street when the incident happened.

A man approached her and said 'Allahu Akbar' the Arabic phrase meaning 'God is great'. He then went on to say that the term meant 'killing people'.

Khayyat smiled and replied 'No we don't kill people'.

“My intention behind smiling at him was just to make him calm down and make him stay away from me," she said on the show.

The man then punched her on the shoulder before saying 'Well I hate Islam'.

Khayyat asked the driver to call the gardai, who arrived and spoke to the man, though he was not arrested.

In a statement, Dublin Bus said: 'An Garda Síochána were contacted and a passenger was removed from the bus by them. The safety of our customers and our employees is our primary priority and we take incidents of this nature very seriously. We have retained CCTV footage of the incident and will make this available to An Garda Síochána and assist with their enquiries.'

Speaking to The Journal, Khayyat said the attack left her shaken and she had hardly slept for three nights.

You can listen to the full interview from Newstalk here.