UK pub asks Muslim man named Islam to remove his personalised sweatshirt

  • PTI, London
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2016 21:07 IST
A soldier secures the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France on July 18, 2016, following the Bastille Day attack in Nice. A day later, a man in UK, whose surname is Islam, was asked to remove his personalised hoodie as it was making people around him ‘uncomfortable’. (AP File Photo)

A Muslim man in the UK was asked to remove his school jumper, which had his surname ‘Islam’ written on the back, as pub customers were feeling “uncomfortable”.

Nurul Islam, a 32-year-old teacher, was outside the Coach and Horses pub near Hertfordshire last week, when the barman approached him. He was wearing a personalised school sweatshirt, which all teachers have, when he was asked to remove it as it was offending people because of the Nice attack.

“A staff member came outside and asked if I could I take off my jumper because it was making some customers feel uncomfortable ‘after what happened last night’,” said Islam, a technology teacher at the Thomas Alleyne Academy.

“I didn’t know quite what to say, and at first I didn’t link what he’d said with the lorry attack in France, but when it sank in, I was shocked,” BBC quoted Islam as saying.

Islam was waiting for a group of pupils from the Academy in Hertfordshire, who were on a Duke of Edinburgh assignment and the pub was the agreed meeting point. “I was being discriminated against because of my surname so I was left really upset after the incident. We all have surnames on the backs of our hoodies, which is the responsible thing to do,” said Islam, who helps run the school’s Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

“I’m not a practising Muslim but I am a Muslim. It makes me feel terrible that my name is the cause of such contention when all it means is peace. If I had the word ‘peace’ on there, would he still have asked me to leave?” he said.

A hate crime police officer is investigating the incident.

“A specialist hate crime officer is investigating to establish whether offences have been committed,” Hertfordshire Police said. The pub, however, has not commented on the issue.

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