“It’s been a torrent of abuse”
When Mr Mohammed purchased, what he believed to be, his dream home in 2010, the Huddersfield businessman had big plans for the property yet three years later, the house remains derelict after years of intimidation.
Smashed windows, racist graffiti and even a fire have all been seen at the residence on Inglewood Avenue, Huddersfield, in what the home owners describes as an attack by the ‘racist geriatric mafia’.
Mr Mohammed, a father of three, purchased the home hoping to renovate the site and move in with his family yet the constant barrage of abuse has caused him to ‘seriously reconsider’ his plans.
“It has been three years since we bought the property and I still do not know what we are going to do with it,” the West Yorkshire insulation manager explained.
“Every time I put in a proposal to change something about the house it gets rejected and the abuse begins. It is a minority in the community but they are seriously causing a problem for everybody else.”
The words ‘No P*ki Hotel’ were sprayed across the garage door in January 2012 after planning permission had been put in to begin renovating the house, whilst the words ‘No Muslim Hotel’ were added earlier this year and still remain. 40-year-old Mr Mohammed initially believed that some of the community had racist attitudes towards Muslims yet after renting out the property, his mindset was quickly changed.
He said: “I decided to rent out the property to some Eastern Europeans who were looking for a place in the area, they were just students really.
“It wasn’t until they moved in that I realised the discrimination which exists from some of the neighbours.
“I remember two of the neighbours saying to them ‘Your kind shouldn’t be living here’. They were shocked and questioned ‘what kind?’, to which the neighbours replied ‘you Eastern Europeans, you don’t deserve to live in such a nice neighbourhood you should go elsewhere’.”
Lithuanian student, Darius Lubys, was the tenant subjected to the abuse. After the verbal tirade, a fire was started in the home and subsequently reported to police whereby it was determined an accelerant had been used. Nobody has been arrested since the event.
Mr Mohammed currently has an appeal in place to allow building work to finally begin on his property yet remains pessimistic about the possibility of the plans being approved. He said: “I have had applications turned down before and have been told in advance that they will be rejected because some of the neighbours ‘know people’ on the committee. “Someone recently told me ‘you aren’t building a ‘Mahal’ next door to me’ yet even if we got approval we won’t even be the biggest house on the street. There is one which covers 8,000sq/ft which is much bigger than ours.”
Born and raised in Huddersfield, Mr Mohammed must now decide whether his dream property could still serve as a home for his family. Having never been victim of any racist attacks in the past, it is a previously unknown problem which he must now tackle.
“The appeal is in now and if it goes through I will certainly take a very long look and consider my position. I can still sell it with permission as I’m thinking about whether I want to be amongst the racist people but there are some nice people there.
“At the end of the day, the safety of me and the children is the primary concern. To know these people don’t want you there is totally unnerving so would I want to move in? I still don’t know.”