Scotland’s Muslim Justice Secretary receives death threats

25th Sep 2020
Scotland’s Muslim Justice Secretary receives death threats

(Photo credit:The Scottish Government)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Scotland’s Muslim Justice Secretary has called in police after receiving death threats last month claiming he should be ‘butchered’ and his family ‘firebombed’.

Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Pollok, Humza Haroon Yousaf, said he was used to racist online abuse but he was so “shaken” by the menacing messages, he considered leaving politics, to protect his family.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the SNP politician said, “I can’t really remember a time when there hasn’t been racist abuse but generally speaking it has not been particularly violent or threatening. What is different about the recent emails is the clear depiction of violence towards myself and towards my family.

“I know 99 per cent of the time, these are keyboard warriors but the concern is, could there be that one per cent that actually are unhinged enough to act upon the threats that they make? For the first time, I had the fleeting thought, I just don’t know if doing the job I do is worth putting my family at potential risk.”

The racist threats vilifying Yousaf, 35, for a parliamentary speech he made on Black Lives Matter and his introduction of Hate Crime legislation. One email to Yousaf, called him a ‘little brown b*****d’ who needed to be stripped, placed in a stock and whipped unconscious.

The abuser added he hoped, ‘white Scots firebomb Yousaf and his family while they are in their house. Prevent him from running away by throwing him back. Rotting is way too good for you after death. You should be butchered and sent to Pakistan and sold as fresh meat, possibly pork.’

The father of one said, “It really hit me hard because it referenced my family. I am a new father and it gives me a whole different perspective on life. I was shaken. My wife was so upset.

“I don’t want to leave the job and the constituency I love. I fully intend to stand but it is the first time I have contemplated otherwise. I don’t want these people who perpetrate hatred to win and if I quit it is handing them a victory.

“It has an impact on my mental health. I literally have people threatening me and my family for what? A speech and a piece of legislation which is meant to combat hatred. It has shaken me a fair bit, the violent nature of the threats.”

He is now in discussions with his team on increasing security for himself and his wife and two children.

He said: “It has had a huge impact on my wife in particular. It has been horrible for her.”

One of the latest emails said he hoped ‘white Scots kick your smelly a**e until your nose bleeds. Ya dirty mongrel mozlem (sic) filth.’

Others called him ‘subhuman garbage’ and ‘genetic scum’ who should be thrown out of Scotland, along with ‘anyone who looks like you’.

Yousaf said, “Social media companies aren’t doing enough to address this matter. When it is international hatred, it is a reminder that hatred doesn’t respect borders. A spokesperson for Police Scotland confirmed to The Muslim News, it has received “a complaint of offensive communications and enquiries are ongoing.”

 

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