Aussie woman speaks up for Muslim couple harassed on train

A Muslim couple verbally abused on a Sydney train have thanked a fellow commuter who sprung to their defence.

The pair, Mr Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti, 33, and his wife Khalida, 26, were on the airport-bound train on Wednesday with their toddler when a middle-aged woman sitting nearby started to rant at them.

In stepped fellow passenger Stacey Eden.

Ms Eden, 23, who defended the couple, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation yesterday: "The lady next to me was saying things like 'all the people that were dying were because of the Muslims in the world and look what's happening overseas'."

The incident, captured on video, has since gone viral on social media.


Ms Eden said the woman went on about several other misconceptions about the couple's faith.

Added Ms Eden: "I was like, 'this isn't right, why are you saying these kinds of things?'"

In the video, which she posted on Facebook, Ms Eden is heard saying to the woman: "She wears (her hijab) for herself, okay? She wears them because she wants to be modest with her body."

In her Facebook post, Ms Eden wrote: "She was saying some pretty horrible and hurtful things before I spoke up then as soon as I started defending them she stopped."

Mr Bhatti, who lives in Brisbane, shared Ms Eden's clip on his Facebook page on Thursday, writing: "Stacey, thanks again for your support for us on that day...I generally believe that you and many other Australian[s] do respect all religions."

His post drew comments praising Ms Eden for speaking out.

New South Wales police told AFP that they have launched an investigation into the matter.