A Black Muslim refugee faced horrific racist, anti-Black violence in southeast London, resulting in a deep head wound after being called a “F****** Black man” by a group of racist men.
After reaching out to Tell MAMA, we provided support and offered a tailor-made service to them with updates to the investigation.
Following an email incident report update to us, the Met Police confirmed that they initially took no further action, citing a lack of CCTV in the area, which we successfully challenged. And upon further review, they informed us of the decision to close the case because they could not trace the suspects and encouraged our service user to avoid walking in that area again.
To protect their identity, we are not disclosing further details. Still, we can confirm the assault occurred on June 16, when four white males subjected our service user to anti-Black racism before assaulting him.
Photographs shared with our service detail how the racist attack left them with a deep laceration on their skull, resulting in hospitalisation. They confirmed to our Casework Team that they have no memory of the attack.
Several upstanders helped our service user following the racist attack until paramedics arrived at the scene.
As a confidential third-party service, we exercised our capacity to liaise further with the Met Police on their behalf and push for the attack to be re-investigated.
We are also providing translation assistance within our existing emotional support structures.
From the perspective of our Director Iman Atta, we have assisted refugees for many years in various ways – including advocacy work with housing associations and local authorities.
She said: “It remains of great concern that those most vulnerable are having to navigate various bureaucracies whether trying to find adequate housing away from racist neighbours or navigating reporting hate crime to the police.
Such barriers are often compounded by a lack of multilingual language support or a lack of oversight or care about how they navigate the complexities of various support systems. We encourage others to get in touch with our service as we accept referrals and can provide signposting.
Our service user was on the receiving end of racist, anti-Black violence because of their identity and struggled to engage with the police further due to language barriers we helped them overcome. We will continue to advocate until we can get a just outcome and hopefully hold those responsible accountable.”
As authorised advocates, we liaised with the Met Police on their behalf, who revealed to us in late July that there was no CCTV of the attack. Nor did it prove possible to retrieve forensics when they followed up and drove him to the scene. However, officers reassured the man to contact them if he came across the perpetrator, as they confirmed that they did not know their attacker, nor had they seen them since.
Over the years, we have evidenced in annual reports the racialised targeting of Muslim refugees – from racist hate and violence in public areas to one high-profile case of helping to get a vulnerable refugee re-housed after advocating on their behalf with the local authorities after evidencing to them the sustained campaign of racist harassment and abuse faced from a neighbour.
We have previously reported how Devon and Cornwall Police investigated an anti-Muslim assault on a teen who wears the hijab in Plymouth. Other case studies we have published include the racialised targeting of refugees online and offline impacts on Muslim communities at home and in public spaces, including on public transport.
We continue to provide support as our service user remains fearful of further racist violence as another refugee faced violence in the same area.