The truth is, both were equally affected by the tragedy.
London attack: Woman in hijab pictured on Westminster bridge was ‘traumatised not indifferent’, photographer says
‘Her behaviour was completely in line with everyone else on the bridge, but you’re not assuming others are callously ignoring the scenario’
The photographer who captured an image of a woman in a hijab walking past terror attack victims on Westminster Bridge has defended her actions as “completely appropriate” and said the image had been wildly “misappropriated”.
The woman has been viciously attacked online, with far-right supporters and anti-Islam websites using it as “evidence” of her indifference to the scene.
However, press photographer Jamie Lorriman told The Independent the woman was clearly “traumatised” and “visibly distressed”. He said she was just one of hundreds fleeing the bridge, trying to avoid looking at the “horror surrounding them.”
“Her behaviour was completely in line with everyone else on the bridge, but you’re not assuming others are callously ignoring the scenario,” he said.
“So many other people were walking all over the place – everybody that was on the ground had someone with them, if everybody had stopped and tried to help you would never have been able to help anyone.
Twitter was where all the bickering took place.
— #ExDemocrat (@riwired) March 23, 2017
Walk on by… pic.twitter.com/8kCHYoNTIh
— Richard 🥛 Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) March 22, 2017
— Shannon 🇺🇸 (@GeorgiaDirtRoad) March 22, 2017
But people began to defend her:
— Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) March 22, 2017
That is when people started to take a closer look at more photos of the day and an unfortunate man got dragged in to the silly debate, not to accuse him of being uncaring, but to make a point in defence of everyone that day including the Muslim lady.
— Unapologetically BK (@Jahprince718) March 22, 2017
— 🕋 راشد بطي باليوحه (@rashedalyoha) March 22, 2017
“The whole thing takes away from the horror of the situation. Nobody would know how they would react, it’s a situation you can’t be prepared to be thrown into.
“I couldn’t possibly tell you what that woman was thinking after what she had witnessed, and I was there – so somebody behind a keyboard could not either.”
He also criticised those taking the image out of context, saying: “I wish there was something I could do about it being misused and misinterpreted.”
“It’s people who clearly have an agenda they want to push and will just put whatever they think out there,” he said.
“I think hate is how it can be categorised – whether it’s racial, islamic, whatever – people who hate they will use anything as the weapon of their opinion.”
At least 50 people were injured after terrorist Khalid Mamood ploughed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. He then fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer before being shot to death.
Four people were killed in the attack and 31 needed hospital treatment. It is believed 29 people remain in hospital, five of whom are in a critical condition and two have life threatening injuries.