A Muslim family shopping at a branch of the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s in north London described how a man in army uniform abused them in a long anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rant that included falsely accusing the father of ‘oppressing women’ and said that “Palestine isn’t real”. 

Speaking to Tell MAMA’s Casework Team, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained that their young child, curious about the man’s uniform, approached them to learn more only to be looked upon with disgust and suspicion, as the uniformed man questioned their identity and background. 

The incident took place on the afternoon of October 24. 

Having informed the perpetrator that some of the family had a Palestinian background, he turned to the young child and told them, “Palestine isn’t real.” Then, turning to the father, they ranted inchoately about the mistreatment of women and suggested and said to the Muslim man, “I’m sure that makes you happy, doesn’t it?!” falsely accusing him of oppressing and abusing women because of his Islamic faith. As they continued, in the father’s words, to jump from topic to topic, making crude anti-Muslim and Islamophobic remarks. 

Feeling further threatened, the family left the store without submitting a complaint to security or management but later agreed for Tell MAMA to raise this with Sainsbury’s whilst protecting their identity. 

The family described the perpetrator as a white male in his mid-to-late-fifties. 

Having flagged the incident with the supermarket, a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told Tell MAMA: “Sainsbury’s is an inclusive retailer and does not tolerate any abusive, discriminatory or threatening behaviour in our stores. If a customer experiences anything of this nature we will support them to report the incident to the police and help with investigation in any way that we can.” 

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