A Bradford man has been brutally assaulted by a gang after converting from Islam to Christianity.
Father-of-six Nissar Hussain was left needing surgery after the group broke his kneecap and hand on Wednesday.
Mr Hussain, 49, is recovering in hospital after the attacks, which follow a long line of incidents following his family’s conversion to Christianity over a decade ago. Mr Hussain has said that he and his family are virtual prisoners in their home as a consequence.
He told the Bradford Argus: “We are under the cosh and classed as blasphemers. The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens.
“Most of the Muslim community here have turned a blind eye to what we are going through. There are some who have condoned it but there are also those who are directly committing hate crimes against us.”
Before the attacks Mr Hussain told The Catholic Herald that despite his persecution he had received little help from police or churches.
“There needs to be an awakening among churches. We have found ourselves in no man’s land. There is a lack of cultural understanding about what it costs people such as ourselves. We are classed as apostates.”
He said he had “three cars written off” and “regular drive-by bricks thrown through the window. Kids couldn’t play in the back garden for five years.”
Police, he said, told him: “Stop trying to be crusader and move out of your area.”
Mr Hussain, his wife Kubra and their six children converted to Anglicanism over a decade ago and have suffered a campaign of intimidation ever since. Mr Hussain, who had to give up his job as a nurse because of the stress of the campaign, has said the family will have to move to a white English area to escape the intimidation.
Wilson Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association told the Catholic Herald that “apostasy crime” – committed against Muslims who convert to Christianity – needed to be more widely recognised in Britain.
Regarding Mr Hussain’s case, he said: “Police officers seemed oblivious. They didn’t put it down as a hate crime. They had it down as a neighbourhood dispute. That to me was atrocious.”
He said the police “need to accept that apostasy hate crime exists in the UK. They need to understand the situation that victims face – the hatred and animosity that targets them for abuse on a daily basis.”