Exclusive: Student called an ‘evil Muslim’ in racist attack at Selly Oak Sainsbury’s
He was confronted by two women who called him ‘scum’
On Monday, Riyan Ferguson was victim of a racist attack from two women who called him an “evil muslim” and “scum”.
They approached him outside Sainsbury’s in Selly Oak, while he was shopping with his partner Alex.
Third year University of Wolverhampton student Riyan shared his experience on Facebook to raise awareness about these kinds of incidents, and to emphasise that nobody should have to tolerate this kind of verbal abuse. The post has gained 16k views since, and comments reveal that others are equally as repulsed by the situation.
He explains a lady was blocking the entrance to the store, and when he asked to come through she became aggressive and asked if he was from the UK. He said: “The older lady in the video (the woman’s mother) then came outside with an aggressive and abusive tone accusing myself of not being from the country and not having the right to ask somebody to move.”
Riyan and Alex were followed into the store by the women, after asking to be left alone. Sainsbury’s staff had to come over and restrain the younger woman as she tried to make aggressive advances towards Riyan, and the older lady pushed and shoved Alex.
The store manager asked the women to leave, however they continued to be aggressive. Riyan and Alex left the store to avoid the situation, but were followed out by the women who shouted “evil muslim” and “scum” at them. Riyan is not Muslim.
At this point he began videoing, as seen below. He said:“After the events in the video we were followed again for another five minutes as we tried to go back home and resulted to having to call the police for support. In this instance I was accused of being Muslim scum that had assaulted them both as well as their dog. The individuals then left the scene roughly one minute before police turned up whilst still shouting abuse and racial slurs accompanied with threats of having individuals attack us in the future.
“BREXIT got these folks feeling brand new. 2017 and racism is still as present as ever. Please like and share so the police are forced to find these people and not push it to the side.”
The Tab spoke to Riyan to gain a victim’s perspective on what people still have to deal with everyday: “My partner Alex who attends UoB was severely shaken by the incident. Police took 6 minutes to arrive by which time the two women had gone and the police couldn’t find them.
“I think it’s horrendous that there were a lot of individuals from ethnic minorities completely turning a blind eye to the situation as they walked by on the street. Especially when I was being labelled as Muslim scum, Muslims would walk by and didn’t bat an eyelid. This just goes to show how normal situations like what I encountered have become.
“In regards to how the situation came about initially, I feel that these individuals, with their mindset, were simply looking to target someone for an altercation in general. If it wasn’t myself and my partner, then I believe they would have easily targetted the next black/Chinese/Asian person walking down the street.”
This just goes to show how important it is to take these incidents seriously and to report racial abuse to the police whenever it occurs.