A worrying article on the BBC news website, reports that a Muslim family have been forced to leave the Nottinghamshire market town of Bingham following a string of racist incidents.
Offensive graffiti was sprayed on the path outside their house and, in one of the more bizarre racist incidents we’ve encountered, a cross wrapped in ham was left outside their home.
“The first incident was when the big, wooden cross, wrapped in ham, fell into the house after a knock at the door,” Murad Alam told the BBC. He said that names such as “Paki” and “tramp” had been 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.”
Mr Alam told the BBC that he thought Bingham was generally a nice area: “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.”
Exactly who “these choice few” are isn’t entirely clear. The police seem to have conducted an extensive operation to find those involved, but seemingly without success. A thirteen year-old boy was arrested, but later released without charge.
We don’t know of any of the local far-right are involved, but as we commented at the time of the ham cross incident, “This is exactly the kid of spiteful childish act that the local EDL specialise in. After all, it’s not long ago that Nottingham EDL activists Chris Payne, Nicky Long, Wayne Havercroft and Robert Parnham left a pig’s head on a stick at the site of a mosque in Nottingham.”
Since then Liam Ferrar, of the EDL-associated “Forgotten Estates” group has admitted religiously aggravated harassment after after he left a pig’s head at the door of a community centre on Christmas Day.
The main indication that the EDL (or one of their multitude splinters) aren’t involved is that whoever is responsible managed to do it without getting nicked withiin a matter of hours.
Even if the organised far-right aren’t involved, these incidents illustrate how divisive racism can be in communities. They also point to an anti-Muslim sentiment which the EDL and others have helped to foster and could all to easily exploit.