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Belfast: Mohammed Asif Khattak Hospitalized After Hate Crime

Muhammad Asif Khattak examines the damage caused to his home after a bottle was thrown through the window

Muhammad Asif Khattak examines the damage caused to his home after a bottle was thrown through the window

Peter Robinson and Pastor James McConnell bear some responsibility for this crime.:

Pakistani man in hospital after being assaulted at Belfast home hours after house targeted in race attack

A Pakistani man has been assaulted at his north Belfast home just hours after his house was targeted in an earlier race attack.

Muhammad Asif Khattak was set upon after being subjected to a barrage of racist abuse by a group of people outside his Parkmount Street home at around 3.15pm on Sunday afternoon.

He was then chased into his home before being attacked. Another man inside was also assaulted.

A 57-year-old man and a woman, aged 18, have been arrested in connection with the hate crime.

Muhammad Asif Khattak (24) had earlier called on First Minister Peter Robinson to apologise personally to all Muslims after he defended comments made by a firebrand pastor who denounced Islam as “satanic”.

His comments came after a bottle was thrown through the window of his home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It happened at around 2.50am.

Mr Khattak – who shares the property with another friend – said he no longer felt safe living in Belfast.

“If we go outside in the street, people will start swearing at us – what can we do?” he said.

“We are just foreigners, we don’t feel accepted.

“We are scared now and my family and friends are telling me to come back to London.”

Regarding the ongoing row surrounding Peter Robinson’s backing of comments made by Pastor James McConnell, he told the BBC the First Minister should “apologise in person to all Muslims”.

This week, Muslim representatives said they had received and accepted an apology from Peter Robinson in the wake of controversial remarks he made about members of the Islamic faith.

Mr Robinson has also always consistently condemned race attacks.

Today, North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds condemned the latest race attack.

“This attack like all the others on homes in north Belfast is utterly disgraceful,” he said.

“There is no justification for any attack on an individual or their home whatever the religion, lifestyle, or ethnicity of the person concerned.”

The latest incident in the city comes just hours after some 4,000 people attended an anti-racism rally in the heart of Belfast city centre, while a similar event was also held in Londonderry.

Organisers of the Belfast rally said it was held to communicate the city’s support of its migrant and ethnic minority residents.

It was held after Alliance MLA Anna Lo said she would quit politics due to ongoing racist abuse directed at her by loyalists.

Ms Lo said had previously said she was considering leaving Northern Ireland following comments made by First Minister Peter Robinson in support of the controversial pastor who denounced Islam.

Ms Lo – who represents South Belfast and just last week ran as a candidate in the European elections – said she was “angry” at the backing given to Pastor James McConnell.

Pastor McConnell had described the Islamic faith as “Satanic” during a sermon at his Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle church in Belfast last month.

He also said while there may be “good Muslims” in Britain ” I don’t trust them”.

Earlier this week Peter Robinson moved to assure members of the Islamic community by saying “no part of me would want to insult or cause distress to local Muslims”.

But he continued his defence of Pastor McConnell’s “right to freedom of speech”.

A spokesperson behind Saturday’s rally in Belfast said the attacks on migrants in Northern Ireland were “shaming”.

“A clear rise in racial prejudice is shaming. Widespread and growing Islamophobia is shaming.

“The fact that Anna Lo MLA is now considering leaving Northern Ireland due to racism – that’s shaming. Shame isn’t enough.”

Plans for an anti-racism march through the streets of Belfast have been announced.

The event, planned for next Saturday, is being described as a chance for the community to take a stand against racism.

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  • Reynardine

    Anyone can be a victim, and the disgrace should be on the assailant. Male bullies often target women, the able-bodied those who are less so, those in their prime target both children and the old. If the target looks able to fight back, they’ll ambush, sucker-punch, double-team. Most especially,they attack members of out groups, whose rights will not be vindicated by the law. Fighting back, under these circumstances, is not easy.

  • Reynardine

    The 3-step takedown…is that a kind of martial arts kata? You might post a diagram of it. But don’t rule out that this guy (and others) might have been sucker-punched or attacked from behind. The kind of people who double-team or triple-team one victim don’t fight fair.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    As evil as the SA attacking Jews in the 1930s. That’s how it started.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    It’s bad enough if a small but very loud minority gets the say.
    Most Germans weren’t Nazis either in 1933-45 and see what happened. Sure, nobody in his right mind would smear all Germans as Nazis or as Huns today.
    Sure, most Serbs and most Russian-speaking Ukrainians are OK, basically, I mean, they’re not better or worse than average people, but everybody can see what happens.
    My enemies (the enemies of Bosniaks generally) accuse me of hating Serbs (so what, I have the right to hate whom I deem as worthy of being hated) or to promote anti-Serb hate. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But if a large proportion or a majority of them have or follow genocidal ideas, what can I do? Unfortunately, right now I can only, again and again, launch my own “J’accuse…!” against them. That’s what I do. If they let me. At Balkaninsight (which is Belgrade based and/or biased anyway) these hypocrites don’t let me.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Yes, the bullying stops once the bully is beaten up. That applies to states too.
    And no, I’m not a warmonger.
    The trouble is I’m not a pugilist either.
    So far I have been lucky, the people in my surroundings respect me and of course I respect them too, but what if that should change?

  • Reynardine

    ‘Scuse me, Doctor, you ever do a rotation in nut? The idea that nuts people have preternatural strength is not a myth. We had a ninety-pound girl who had to be held down by four male attendants until the shot took effect. Besides that, a stalwart young man like this one might have had qualms about unleashing full strength on a teenage girl and an aging man, while they had no such qualms. You don’t know from this account whether they were using sharp or blunt objects against an unarmed man, or whether one snuck up from behind and hit him with a brass lamp while he was facing off against another one. You don’t know what kind of injuries this young man sustained, or whether his life is in danger. In all events, blaming the victim is unbeautiful.

    Your acerbity is most entertaining when directed against the likes of Modi. This sort of thing is unworthy of a healer.

  • 1DrM

    24 year old Khattak should have been able to deal with his 57 year old attacker. I don’t what it is with some desi men(something is seriously wrong when an 18 year old woman has you on the ropes) but unless serious self defense is applied such attacks will only increase.

  • sasboy

    These attacks are deplorable, as are all hate crimes. But it would be wrong to depict all Irish as bigots just as it is unfair to depict Muslims as terrorists.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    I think ten years in prison is the mimimum those swine should get.

  • Reynardine

    This almost makes the U.S. look sane. Of course, our gun toters are starting to make us look like Belfast.

  • Yausari

    when you start a hate speech, this is what happened. What makes them think that they’re doing anything good in the first place?

  • mindy1

    Omg how awful, this is pathetic

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