Author: Jane Dalton
Racists have tried to intimidate Syrians living in Northern Ireland by scrawling “Muslims out” at one home and throwing stones at another.
Husein Almassre said the attack had left him and his wife frightened, and one of his children afraid to sleep on his own at night.
The graffiti was left on a garage wall at the back of the family’s home in Dungannon.
We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
Around the same time a stone was thrown at the home of another Syrian family nearby.
Mr Almassre, 55, his wife Amaal and their four children have lived in the town for 18 months after spending five years in an Egyptian refugee camp when they fled the civil war in their home country.
“When I know what has happened, I am afraid, and all my family are afraid,” he said. After coming here, the police told us, no problem, don’t be afraid. Dungannon is very good, my neighbours are very good. I am sure they are good people here.”
Denise Mullen, of the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said neighbours were disgusted that “such an inoffensive family would be subjected to a hate-filled and cowardly crime”.
She also said she was not happy with the police response to the attacks.
A PSNI statement said: “We are treating both these incidents as racially motivated hate crimes. Those who continue to carry out these senseless, despicable acts of wanton criminality have no place in a civilised society.”