This is the actual account of a case that we received within the last few days and which highlights how intolerance and prejudice can shape the impressions made on families and also the perception of other communities. The impacts of such prejudice are felt deep and wide within families that are affected and fuel further insecurity. This is the anonymised text from the case of a family who visited Skegness for the first time.
“Me and my family went for a family trip for the first time to Skegness with a local community centre. Together there were 12 people, of which 7 of us wore hijabs.
“Once we reached to the main area where there were shops, we noticed a lot of people just staring at us as if we were some form of aliens. It didn’t really bother us until we walked past the pub and a man shouted “terrorists”.
“My sister and I just looked at each other and didn’t bother looking back at the man and we were shocked at what he had said. As we went to the beach again, a lot of people continuously stared at us. We just smiled back, but it made us think how ignorant these people are.
“We then went to buy some seaside ‘rock’ and the lady at the shop said “don’t you get hot in them”, referring to our hijabs. My sister replied “no” and they were not that thick and showed her the material of her hijab. She did not say anything after that and we left the shop.
“We saw another Muslim lady there and we were so happy to see her. She gave us a ‘salaam’ and smiled at us. She was the only Muslim I saw there.
“This was our first family trip with our kids to Skegness and I don’t think I would like to go again seeing the behaviour of the people there. It really made us sad and made us miss the area we are from and also made us reflect on how different people are in England.
“It opened my eyes to the nasty comments Muslims get.”