“I am not a terrorist, I am not a bomber", Portsmouth Muslim woman on the "horrendous abuse" she has suffered
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday December 09 2014
The local paper, Portsmouth News, relays the harrowing story of a Muslim convert in the city who has suffered ‘horrendous abuse’ over the years.
Yvonne Rogers, a 61 year old convert and taxi driver, spoke to the paper about the level and nature of abuse she has experienced since converting to Islam in 1998.
Ms Rogers told Portsmouth News that she had been subjected to abuse ‘many times’ while working as a taxi driver.
“‘From having my headscarf and hair yanked back while being subjected to foul abuse from passengers sitting behind me in my former saloon car.
“The abuse was horrendous. And then there was the attack from which I am lucky to be alive,” she said.
Ms Rogers singled out the media and its portrayal of Muslims as a causal factor for the level and severity of abuse. She said, “The constant demonisation of Muslims in the media is having devastating effects on converts such as myself who merely want to go about our daily business without the malevolence and malice that I have experienced.
“Much of the hatred levelled against me is because of negative media coverage and the inability of people to think outside the box.”
The point about negative media coverage informing popular attitudes and influencing negative sentiments and actions against Muslims has been made in a number of empirical studies, the most significant being research conducted by academics at Lancaster university.
In a plea to fellow residents, Ms Rogers, entreats them saying “I am not a terrorist, I am not a bomber but I am getting called “uber bomber” and having obscene gestures made at me in the street.
“It is totally unacceptable. I am just a friendly, caring, compassionate and merciful person.”
Portsmouth has been the setting of a number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the last few years from protests against mosques and Islamic schools in the city to demonstrations by the English Defence League, the vandalism of a mosque and a pig’s head left on a spike outside a Muslim school. Last week,a coalition was announced against the most recent far right challenge to the city’s social cohesion; UKIP.