Retailers refuse to live in fear after racial abuse rises following Paris attacks

  • Verbal attacks rise after Paris terror but retailers vow to deal with anger in local community
  • 50 incidents a day of retail crime in Scotland
  • More than 100 racial attacks were reported in the week following Paris attacks

Convenience retailers have told Retail Express that they have been victims of racially-motivated abuse following the Paris attacks – but they have vowed not to live in fear.

Shahid Razzaq, who runs two stores in Glasgow, told Retail Express that he has faced a torrent of abuse on social media.

“The ones that shop with us support us totally but it’s the ones that don’t shop with us who have an issue,” he said. “There’s a lot of Islamophobia going on right now. We’ve had people commenting on our Facebook page that refugees coming to Scotland should be ‘blown out of the sky’. It’s disgusting.”

He added that there are 50 incidents a day of retail crime in Scotland, with a definite spike in attacks on Muslim business people and racial abuse since the terrorist incidents in Paris on November 13.

To protect their businesses, retailers told us that they are educating staff and proactively campaigning against extremism.

Gaurave Sood of Neelam Newsagent in Uxbridge said: “I have openly condemned the Paris attacks so customers or people who feel they have licence to hurl abuse don’t ever get the chance to. I haven’t put any extra safety procedures in place because I won’t live in fear.”

Manchester Family Shopper owner Sunita Kanji said verbal attacks do rise in response to global events, but she and her staff deal with abuse constantly.

She said: “I am not Muslim, but uneducated customers don’t know the difference. I employ four Asian staff. I teach them to remain calm in the face of abuse and we do remove people from the store. It is not acceptable.”

According to research carried out by The Islamic Human Rights Commission, more than 100 racial attacks were reported in the week following the murder of 130 people in the French capital by ISIS – a rise of 300%.

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