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MEND PRESS STATEMENT: Man found guilty after Islamophobic harassment at MEND event in Caerphilly.

MEND PRESS STATEMENT: Man found guilty after Islamophobic harassment at MEND event in Caerphilly.

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday April 24 2018

 On 13 April 2018 Nicholas Bishop was found guilty of committing racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment during an open community event in Caerphilly Leisure Centre in November 2017.

An open dialogue hosting families, faith leaders and community leaders aimed at uniting Muslims and non-Muslims by asking questions about Islam was disrupted by Bishop during last year’s Islamophobia Awareness Month in November. Video footage from the event shows Bishop disrupting the event and throwing Islamophobic slurs at the organisers and attendees.

The event was organised by MEND, and was a community event aimed at promoting harmony and understanding throughout Caerphilly.

One MEND volunteer who recorded the video of the attack during the event said:

“It was incredibly ironic how our positive, open discussion aimed at dispelling misconceptions about Islam was challenged by an individual who felt the need to cause upset and distress, rather than joining the community to respectfully ask questions about Islam. I felt shaken and fearful at the sight of a man so angry, not knowing how far his Islamophobic motivations would take him, especially as children were present.”

The footage showed Bishop shouting and mentioning names of terrorists, as well as attempting to shame audience members for attending.

After a three-day trial, Bishop was found guilty at Newport Magistrates Court, 13 April 2018, with a fine of up to £1,500 for intentional racial or religious harassment.

Sahar Al-Faifi, MEND’s regional manager for Wales and the West of England, reflected upon the hearing after testifying against Bishop in court:

“It was clear in court that Mr Nicholas Bishop’s appalling racist and Islamophobic behaviour was influenced by the negative portrayal of Muslims in the print media. However, it is encouraging that Mr Bishop was found guilty and we hope that his sentence will set a precedent to discourage those that promote hate and bigotry”.


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