Nottinghamshire Police are investigating an Islamophobic incident at a fitness club after a man ranted that a Muslim woman near him was going to ‘bomb’ and ‘kill him’.
The incident occurred on May 31, at a branch of the David Lloyd fitness club chain in the East Midlands.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, the Muslim woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated that upon entering the steam room, she heard a man loudly tell another club member: “She was smiling at me, another f**king Muslim, she thinks I’m going to smile back at her, this f**king Muslim, she’s going to bomb me, she’s going to kill me”.
She added that she had smiled at the man before entering the room. The man also made other remarks, including that he had ‘no respect’ for Muslims before exiting the room.
Some academics, like Dr Chris Allen, speak of how the hijab functions as a ‘universal symbol’ of “Muslimness” yet with no visible Islamic clothing the woman was targeted due to her ethnicity, which again demonstrates the role of racialisation in broader anti-Muslim and Islamophobic discourses.
The comments left her feeling vulnerable, unsafe, distressed, and humiliated. She worries about bumping into the same man when accessing certain facilities at the club.
She complained to management but is concerned about their slow response.
Tell MAMA has now written to the fitness club on her behalf regarding her complaint.
She described the perpetrator as being male, white, in his 60s or 70s.
In 2017, the single biggest incident category recorded by Tell MAMA was abusive behaviour, where 52 per cent of offline reports constituted verbal or non-verbal forms of abuse.