FAR-RIGHT LEADER DEFENDS YOUTH FILMED BULLYING SYRIAN REFUGEE
Tommy Robinson claims teenage asylum seeker had attacked a young girl leaving her ‘black and blue’
When I saw everyone looking at this video I felt ashamed of myself and why it happened. I was really upset about that JAMAL Syrian refugee
Far-right leader Tommy Robinson defended the 16-yearold boy who was filmed bullying a Syrian refugee at a British school.
A video of the attack on a boy identified as Jamal, 15, went viral on Twitter and prompted well-wishers to raise more than £113,000 (Dh530,000) for the Syrian family on a crowdfunding account.
Reports indicated that the boy accused of attacking Jamal was a Robinson supporter and had frequently shared his material on social media.
In a video posted on Facebook, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League said that Jamal had been involved in an attack on a young girl and left her “black and blue”.
That claim was immediately denied by a woman claiming to be the girl’s mother.
She said: “It wasn’t him. It was the three girls. Delete it now. I don’t want my girl’s face on anything.”
Robinson, who has convictions for violence and fraud, has secured a large following in the US and UK through social media and has a history of inflammatory anti-Muslim public statements.
The original video of the attack on the male student at Almondbury Community School in Huddersfield showed him being held down and water tortured by a bully. The attacker threatens to drown the boy, before pouring water down his throat.
A further video has come to light in which the sister of the boy was attacked at the same school in Huddersfield, in northern England.
The clip shows the unnamed girl being pushed from behind causing her to fall to the ground, according to the BBC.
West Yorkshire Police said: “We have been made aware of a video showing a girl being assaulted at Almondbury Community School.
“The incident had not previously been reported to the police but we are now liaising with the girl’s family, who we are continuing to support.”
The video of the first incident, which reportedly took place on October 25, was retweeted more than 65,000 times, with the bully receiving widespread condemnation from an array of public figures.
Jamal said the bullying had kept him awake at night and made him feel unsafe.
“When I saw everyone looking at this video I felt ashamed of myself and why it happened. I was really upset about that,” he told ITV News.
As Britons nervously anticipate the outcome of a Brexit process launched on a wave of anti-migrant scaremongering, they were yesterday forced to contemplate another consequence of incitement to hatred, played out in shameful scenes in a school playground. Footage of 15-year-old Jamal from Syria, who was bullied at a school in the north of England, cast a harsh spotlight on the reality of everyday life for refugees attempting to build new lives in strange lands. Social media is often castigated for the harm it causes but by putting a human face to the plight of refugees, the viral footage could prove to be a catalyst for a change in attitudes. Thousands responded with compassion, condemning the outrage and donating more than $36,000 in 24 hours to an online fundraising appeal for Jamal’s family.
In the footage, Jamal was sporting a broken arm in a case, apparently from a previous attack. His sister had her glasses smashed by bullies and had attempted to take her own life. Yet they are the “lucky” ones. Having escaped the nightmare of war and the squalor of refugee camps, they had to confront the ugly face of racism, fostered in teenagers barely older than themselves. Many of the 10,000 Syrians taken in by the UK – a fraction of the number resettled in other European countries – have found a welcome in their new communities. Among them are 24 Syrian families resettled in Bute, an archipelago off the west coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde. After an initially frosty reception, they have been embraced fully into the fold.
But resettlement has been uneven; so have attitudes. The moral culpability for this act does not lie with Jamal’s tormentor alone. No child is born with hate in their souls. They learn it from their parents, their communities and their peers, who are, in turn, infected by the propaganda of politicians looking to demonise “the other”. Jamal said he was “ashamed” by the footage. It is those who seek to propagate such hatred who should feel shame when faced with the kindness of his benefactors.
Anti-Muslim extremist Tommy Robinson intervened in a row over the bullying of a Syrian refugee at an English school