30/10/2018

Newtownards KKK Hate Crime Widely Condemned

Sinn Fein MLA Máirtín O Muilleoir has welcomed cross-party condemnation of a recent Newtownards incident that saw a group of people parade the County Down town while dressed in Ku Klux Klan (KKK) costumes.

Police confirmed on Monday 29 October that it was being treated as a hate crime after the individuals posed for pictures outside an Islamic Centre.

The South Belfast MLA said the perpetrators should know that the "entire society is appalled by these actions and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the victims of this intimidation".

"I have been in contact with the Bangladeshi Welfare Association to offer my solidarity and support," Mr O Muilleoir said.
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"The Bangladeshi community makes an enormous contribution to our society and any threat to members of the Newtownards mosque is a threat to everything we hold dear."

The Sinn Fein MLA also called on the PSNI to do all they can to bring those responsible for this hate crime to justice.

Alliance MLA for Strangford Kellie Armstrong branded the act as "disgusting".

"This group did not simply dress up for Halloween, rather they deliberately posed outside the prayer house in Newtownards. This is a clear demonstration of aggression and bullying towards one particular region and that is a hate crime," Mrs Armstrong said.

DUP MLA for Strangford Peter Weir also branded the incident as "totally unacceptable" and said their appearance for photographs outside the Islamic centre shows "malevolent intent".



(JG/CM)

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