UKIP councillor, Donna Anderson, has spoken about a number of ‘serious incidents’ which occurred inside a Ballymena supermarket last weekend, (Saturday 10th June) and she also slammed what she describes as a ‘public silence’ in the aftermath.
Ms. Anderson, who represents Ballymena on the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, reports that several customers and a member of staff, at a large shop on the Antrim Road, were physically attacked and verbally abused by a Muslim man, who is believed to be of Pakistani descent.
According to reports, the man, who had been standing outside the entrance of the shop, followed a woman inside, before grabbing her by the throat from behind and saying that: ‘she was his woman and that this is what happens to people of your country, your women, your men and your children.’
Cllr. Anderson went on to reveal that the same man approached another person in the shop and when a member of staff in the shop intervened, they were also the victim of an assault.
Subsequently, the alleged attacker reportedly started reciting what was believed to be passages from the Koran which terrified those still in the shop, those in the shop feared he had more serious and life-threatening intentions.
Cllr Anderson is furious that such a serious incident can occur yet little information has been made public about the incident.
She stated her belief that: ‘ If it was a white Christian individual that carried out such an act, it would have been all over the papers that it was a racist attack.’
The Harryville-based politician went to say: “This was an attack against our own people going about their own business and daily lives. It is abhorrent that anyone would think this is acceptable no matter what the perceived circumstances may be.”
“I would call upon the inter-ethnic groups across the country to be seen and heard making efforts to integrate, not just spouting off when their community is on the receiving end. It cannot continue that efforts are coming from one side all the time. If people are permitted to live in our country legally, they should engage more with their neighbours, community groups and any other services that are readily available to them”, she added.
The man was arrested at the scene and admitted to a mental health facility as he allegedly has issues.