A white neighbour shouted, “they probably have a bomb in them” at a group of South Asian Muslim men delivering furniture to a household in the Wakefield area.

The anti-Muslim and Islamophobic incident occurred in the early evening of July 8.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, one of the men, who wish to remain anonymous, described how the neighbour repeated the hateful remark when queried by the man collecting the furniture.

The Muslim man also challenged the neighbour and said: “Why would you say that?” to which the man replied: “Because I can.” Rather than engage further, he continued unloading the furniture.

He also thought that allowing Tell MAMA to report the incident on their behalf to the police would carry more weight.

The male neighbour, who lives several doors down, is described as being in his mid-to-late forties.

Tell MAMA has documented other examples of discriminatory, harmful, and dehumanising language directed towards them which referenced bombs or explosives in recent years.

Such stereotyping which externalise Muslims as terroristic and violent threats, according to some academics, falls within a broader framework of securitisation. Theories around securitisation explore and contest the idea of a “suspect community”, the reconfiguring of social relations around distrust, and broader still, in medical contexts.

In 2018, a clear majority of Muslim men contacting Tell MAMA sported beards as a marker of their Islamic identity.

West Yorkshire Police continue to investigate the matter.

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