Locals in the Scottish town of Renfrew have taken to social media to condemn the anti-Muslim graffiti found at a popular local shop, the Renfrew Mini Market.
Rehman Afzal, uploaded photos of the vandalism yesterday morning, sent to him by his brother Ozzy, who is the shopkeeper of the store that has served locals for 25 years, two weeks after the first attack.
The graffiti includes the words ‘Allah,’ ‘f*ck,’ and ‘you swine’.
In a statement, Ozzy Afzal said: “I feel shocked and it impacts my mood on my daily job and responsibility. I feel very much victimised by this ignorance and want to send a message out there that I and my family are part of this tightly knitted community, we treat people good and provide a very friendly service and have done for over two decades. Awareness needs to be created so that people with a lack of knowledge can understand that this is wrongful and innocent people are only suffering due to this.
It’s an example of Islamophobia, I suggest if people really have so much hate, then please study and look around how many responsible Muslim people they will find in prominent jobs, providing a wide range of essential services. We have nothing in common with those who create fear in society by targeting innocent people with their barbarism. I urge people to please love one another and help one another. I have always felt naturally a part of Scottish society and Renfrew. I thank everyone who has shown their support, who have come in to show me, love. Much appreciated.”
Mr. Afzal’s Facebook post attracted various supportive comments, and those condemning the hate-filled vandalism. Some expressed their shock, adding that they hoped that Mr. Afzal and his family are okay.
Others wrote: “Disgusting ignorant conduct. Shame on them!” and “This is disgusting. People should not be tarred with same brush”.
In a plea for further tolerance, Rehman Afzal wrote: “At this moment, we would like to underline the fact that we are part of Scottish society, hard working and fully integrated as a family.” He added: “Please let’s come together to stop this hate.”
The family has reported the vandalism to Police Scotland.