Family quits Bingham after anti-Muslim attacks

Graffiti on path The family said they had suffered a number of racist attacks while living in Bingham

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A Muslim family say they have been forced to move from their home after offensive graffiti and a cross wrapped in ham were left outside their house.

Murad Alam, 39, said his wife and two sons, aged eight and 10, had moved out of their home in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, to a "safe" place.

Mr Alam said he had found his son plotting escape routes on his computer after the "horrific" attacks last year.

"My wife and children also had names called at them in the street," he said.

Start Quote

Murad Alam

My wife and children were called names in the street like paki and tramp”

End Quote Murad Alam

"The first incident was when the big, wooden cross, wrapped in ham, fell into the house after a knock at the door," said Mr Alam.

He said they had names such as "Paki" and "tramp" shouted at them in the street.

"The kids have been abused a number of times; the eldest had smoke blown in his face by an elderly local gentleman."

'Explaining racism'

Offensive graffiti was also painted on the path outside the family home.

"It really annoys me that they should use a cross and try and turn this into a religious argument," said Mr Alam.

"My family were terrified from the very first incident; my wife had never experienced racism, neither had my kids.

"In fact I had to explain to my children what racism even was, because they're so young they didn't understand the concept that someone could dislike you because of your skin colour or religion."

The family has now moved to West Bridgford where they say they feel safe.

Mr Alam said Bingham was generally a nice area with a good reputation and it was a shame it had been tarred by their experiences.

"The week before we moved there, Bingham was named the eighth best place to live in the UK - but that's if you're white - there are not many Asian or black faces there,

"It is a nice, generally middle-class village and I'm sure most of the people there are great, it's just these choice few."

'Secret cameras'

Nottinghamshire Police said a 13-year-old boy had been arrested in connection with the attacks but he was later released without charge.

Ham cross Mr Alam said his family had been left "terrified" by the attacks

Mr Alam said he had nothing but gratitude for the police involved in his family's case.

"Nottinghamshire Police fitted secret cameras, security lighting and after the graffiti, they were literally parked at the end of the alley for days, 24/7.

"It's just a shame that no-one has come forward to name the people who are behind it," he said.

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Tell Mama, a national service that records and analyses anti-Muslim attacks, said: "This is one of a number of cases that we have seen where the anti-Muslim prejudice has had a shocking impact on the wider family as a whole.

"We provided practical support to the family where we could. They are though, moving away and fear that the perpetrators and the air of anti-Muslim prejudice in the area was just too much which is very, very sad."

Murad Alam will be speaking to Nihal about his experiences on the BBC Asian Network at 11:00 GMT on Thursday 31 January.

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