UPDATE (19/03/2019): A man has been found guilty of common assault and ordered to pay a fine of £800, incurring a further charge of £100 in court costs and administrative fees.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, the victim spoke of his happiness at the verdict despite the criminal justice system not recognising the Islamophobic elements of the case. He was awarded £50 compensation, adding that throughout the trial, the perpetrator was evasive and even attempted to blame the victim for the crime. He also thanked Tell MAMA for their support throughout.
Original story below
A van driver threatened and abused a Muslim man with ‘paedophile’ taunts after failing to run him over with his vehicle.
The incident occurred on October 3 at around 12:15 pm GMT.
Speaking to Tell MAMA, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was walking to the shops when a white van mounted the pavement and narrowly missed him. When the driver pulled his vehicle over, the driver began to laugh at the victim when challenged.
The situation escalated when the driver exited the vehicle and pinned the Muslim man against a wall and threatened to ‘do more damage’ to him before leaving the scene.
The verbal abuse continued when the driver returned to his vehicle. He told the Muslim man, “your beard, you look like a paedophile” and “you must be happy there’s a school up the road” after winding down his van window before driving off.
This racialised slur is reflective of what some academics describe as the ‘dangerous masculinity’ of British Muslim men when discussing criminality, child sexual exploitation (CSE), and child sexual abuse (CSA). Other academics argue that the racial epithet ‘P*ki’ is deployed to group Muslims (or, by extension, their faith) more broadly as sexual deviants, or, to frame serious crimes through a narrow racial lens.
Tell MAMA, has, for years now, documented how the far-right have continued to exploit high-profile criminal CSE convictions to push a divisive narrative about Muslims more broadly.
Full Fact, a non-partisan fact-checking charity, reported in September 2017, that the government had not updated data on convictions for sexual offences since 2014, data which found that 81 per cent (where ethnicity data was available) of people convicted for such offences were white, 7 per cent were black and 9 per cent were Asian.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) published two major reports on CSE in 2011 and 2013. Regarding the former, the over-representation of Asian offenders appears clear, in group-led street grooming and CSE, but CEOP cautioned that the data collection methods were too inconsistent to draw national conclusions, and that “It is likely that the sexual exploitation of victims of a minority ethnic background are under-represented in the data.” A later study, published in 2013, resulted in similar findings but stressed that the sample size was too small to draw national conclusions.
In our 2016 annual report, we documented how a Muslim man was threatened with violence and called a ‘beardo paedo’ and a ‘P*ki b*stard’ by a couple in a passing car.
Leicestershire Police are now investigating the incident.
The man described the perpetrator as being white, male, in his 40s to 50s.