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"The Muslim Woman On Westminster Bridge" Has Spoken Out Regarding Reaction To Her Photo

The picture of the woman was targeted by the far right on social media.

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Updated on

In the aftermath of Wednesday's attack in London, this photo of a woman walking along Westminster Bridge went viral.

The woman was accused by people on the far right of ignoring a victim on the road, and not showing emotion after the attack.

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This morning the photographer who took the picture, Jamie Lorriman, told ABC the reaction to the photo had been misguided, and that he believed the woman was distressed.

The people who took on that picture are being rather selective. In the other picture in the sequence she looks truly distraught ... personally I think she looks distressed in both pictures. To assume she was ignoring someone is impossible to know, the look on the woman's face, she's horrified, she's in the middle of a traumatic situation. She probably just wanted to get off the bridge. I feel so sorry for the woman in the picture. If she's seen this, she must feel awful.

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Now the woman, who has not been named, has provided a statement defending herself via the charity TellMAMA.

Statement from the Muslim woman photographed on Westminster Bridge during #WestminsterAttack (via @TellMamaUK)

The statement reads:

What the image does not show is that I had talked to other witnesses to try and find out what was happening, to see if I could be any help, even though enough people were at the scene tending to victims. I then decided to call my family to say that I was fine and was making my way home from work, assisting a lady along the way by helping her get to Waterloo station. My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. I would like to thank Jamie Lorriman, the photographer who took the picture, for speaking to the media in my defence.

People defending the woman believe she was targeted by the far right because she was wearing a hijab.

In a further statement to TellMAMA, the woman indicated she was not comfortable with her photo being circulated on social media.

I’m shocked and totally dismayed at how a picture of me is being circulated on social media. To those individuals who have interpreted and commented on what my thoughts were in that horrific and distressful moment, I would like to say not only have I been devastated by witnessing the aftermath of a shocking and numbing terror attack, I’ve also had to deal with the shock of finding my picture plastered all over social media by those who could not look beyond my attire, who draw conclusions based on hate and xenophobia.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to TellMAMA to find out more.

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

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