People on Twitter shared the picture of the woman in a brown headscarf seemingly walking past a female victim lying on the ground and branded her a ‘monster’ for being on her phone.
Yet photographer Jamie Lorriman has since defended the woman, saying she was actually ‘distressed and horrified’ at the time.
He told ABC: ‘No one was sort of screaming or shouting. 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.’
The image of the woman started going viral when ‘proud American’ Texas Lone Star shared it on Twitter saying: ‘Muslim woman pays no mind to the terror attack, casually walks by a dying man while checking phone.’
He added: ‘#BanIslam’
Many people pointed out that emergency services might have told people not to stop or that she might have been telling family or friends she was safe.
One person said that an image showing a man walking past a victim using his phone didn’t attract the same amount of criticism, even though he ‘did the same thing’.