CAIRO - A New South Wales Muslim woman has filed a police complaint after being attacked, spat on and verbally abused at a service station by anonymous man who called her a terrorist' and told her to leave Australia.
"A man got out (of the car) ... He came towards the bowser and I wasn't sure if he was going to head butt me or punch me, or pour petrol on me and light me up," the Muslim woman, who requested to remain anonymous, told The Northern Star on Saturday, March 16.
"But I knew there was going to be trouble."
The woman, who dons face-veil or niqab, was attacked at a Murwillumbah service station last Wednesday.
She recalls that she was fuelling her car up when a hostile man pulled up and began to scream abuse at her.
She said the man approached her and started to call her a "terrorist" and told her to "go back to where you f***ing came from."
While the woman was finishing up at the bowser, she said the man leant over and she feared for her safety.
"He lunged towards me and I didn't know whether he was going to hammer me or what he was going to do," she said.
"He spat straight at my face."
The man's spit landed just below the woman's face.
Leaving the station, the terrified woman placed a complaint at the police number.
Later on, a Murwillumbah policeman called her back and told her he was embarrassed that this had happened and hoped they would be able to track the man down using CCTV footage as well as a license plate number.
The Tweed Coast Muslim woman believes she was targeted because she was wearing face-veil or niqab.
"(He was) calling me a terrorist when he was terrorizing me," she recalled.
"Calling me oppressed yet he was oppressing me."
"He was loud and he was screeching."
The woman, an Australian herself, was shocked by her attacker's calls to leave her home country.
"I told the man I am Australian and I live here," she said.
"I was crying my face off."
New South Wales is home to 168.788 Muslims, about 49.6 percent of the total population, making the state a habitat to the largest Muslim population, according to the 2006 government Census.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity.
While hijab is an obligatory code of dress for Muslim women, the majority of Muslim scholars agree that a woman is not obliged to wear the face veil, or niqab, but believe that it is up to women to decide whether to cover her face.
In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.