Muslim leaders call for action after sisters abused at Auckland train station

Just 48 hours after the Christchurch terrorist attacks a young woman and her sister were subjected to vile abuse in Auckland for being Muslim

A man yelled and swore at them as they waited  for a train at Mt Albert station. 

Police are investigating and the attack comes as Muslim leaders demand accountability after their pleas for help have been ignored for years.

The attacker just started swearing at them and telling them to go back to their "f#$king country.

Remembering scenes from Christchurch, the pair were terrified.

"I didn't put it past him to hurt us and my little sister," the woman said.  

She recalls what she'd told her mother earlier that day

"I had reassured my mum. My mum was like please don't go I don't think it's safe and I was like come on mum it's Auckland."

Muslim leaders say abuse like this isn't isolated

 Anjum Rahman from the Islamic Women's Council told Newshub When their local mosque was being constructed people came in in the middle of the night to carve swastikas into the gib board.

Police are at mosques today, but Rahman from the Islamic Women's Council said protection should have come sooner

"We have had to put covers on the windows because people driving by will throw things at the windows. 

"We have had to put a security fence around the building so, yep, this is New Zealand," Rahman said. 

The Islamic Women's Council says members have been warning successive governments and government departments of the increase in vitriol faced by Muslims and the rise of the alt-right for more than five years.

They say they have begged, pleaded and demanded action and resources to no avail.

Aliya Danzeisenfrom the Waikato Muslim Association said they have been asking for help for a long time. 

"We have been saying to the past government, to the previous government and this government that we our children are being harrassed, we are having issues and we are being impacted and we need support and while kind words have been said to us there needs to be a little less talk and a lot more action."

A leader at Ponsonby Mosque says it's Muslim women and new immigrants who are more often targets

New Zealand has been a lovely community and I'm bought up and I haven't actually faced anything racial or anything that's been abuse to me," said : Bilal Slaimankhel.

Tayyaba Khan who runs an organisation for Muslim women says it's time for honest discussion

"At the expense of avoiding a problem that existed we've now lost lives so I think it's time that we started having the uncomfortable conversations.

"I think it's time that we started normalising Muslims and who they are as people."

The solution? Start listening

The young woman abused at the train stations says she spoke out to encourage other Muslims to come forward if they feel unsafe or are abused.

"This is not OK and want other people to feel, other Muslims who might be the subject of hate speech to feel comfortable coming out and telling the Police and not having to think twice that this isn't a big deal or anything."

The young woman told me she now feels too unsafe to catch public transport.

She says she's also shocked no one came to her aide, and says the wider community need to call out hate speech.