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Two Pakistani men assaulted at home in Northern Ireland

Two Pakistani men assaulted at home in Northern Ireland

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday June 04 2014

The Guardian, BBC News and Belfast Telegraph report on the assault of two Pakistani men at home in north Belfast. Muhammad Asif Khattak, 24, was subjected to a torrent of racist abuse by a group of people outside his home on Sunday afternoon and later assaulted by a man. His assailants also forced their way into his home before assaulting a second man inside.

The assault follows an incident report of a bottle being thrown through the living room window of the house. The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed they were treating the incident as a hate crime.

Khattak told the local paper, “”If we go outside in the street, people will start swearing at us … What can we do? We are just foreigners, we don’t feel accepted. We are scared now and my family and friends are telling me to come back to London.”

The hate crime incidents occurred as 4,000 people joined an anti-racism rally in Belfast city centre to protest against the remarks of a pastor who described Islam as ‘a doctrine spawned in hell’. Northern Ireland First Minister, Paul Robinson, apologised for remarks he made that were construed as defending the pastor after saying that he wouldn’t trust Muslims with doctrine but would trust them ‘to go down to the shops’.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds condemned the latest race attack saying “This attack like all the others on homes in north Belfast is utterly disgraceful.

“There is no justification for any attack on an individual or their home whatever the religion, lifestyle, or ethnicity of the person concerned.”

BBC News further reports that the police have charged an 18 year old woman with disorderly behaviour in relation to the attack. The woman is due to appear in court on June 27.

A further man, 57, was also arrested and has been released on bail pending further police enquiries.

The Belfast Newsletter further notes that the racist attacks are among a series of incidents of intimidation and assaults which have targeted ethnic minorities living in some parts of Northern Ireland, particularly Belfast.


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