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A follow-up report on racist attack on halal shop in Tallaght

Previous Report:

Last weekend we read on social media about the horrific racist attack on Alminna halal food store in the Cookstown Industrial Estate (Tallaght). The shop was broken into by racist vandals. It was ransacked, looted, doused in petrol and defaced with racist writings on the wall.

The attack was carried out the weekend before but there was no media coverage or any reports until some pictures and information were posted on social media later in the week.

From the first sight, it was clear that this was not just a robbery but a horrific racist attack.

On Sunday evening, I wrote a short article about it and circulated it on social media (#racism #antiracism). The same night there was a huge outrage on social media against this racist attack and within a day, the article had hit more than 1200 reads. There were hundreds of tweets condemning this racist attack. There were solidarity and offers of assistance from various other support and campaign groups.

People on social media were offering help, sending messages of solidarity and strongly rejecting such racist attacks. It was evident that many people never thought that such an attack can happen in Ireland. There were a number of people who offered to go and help with the clean-up

The next day, Monday 11th November, Shane O'Curry of ENAR and I visited the shop. We had a long conversation with the shop owners and passed on the hundreds of messages of solidarity.

It was a shocking site to see the whole shop being destroyed.  The estimated damage is around €40,000. But the real horror were the racist writings on the walls. The walls were covered with racist slogans such as 'Pakis out', 'Nigges' and 'Niggrs out'. It is a family run business and the family has been in Ireland for more than 18 years. Mohammed Djellal from Algeria and his father were very upset but they were focussed on getting the shop up and running as soon as possible. They could not believe the hatred against them and called upon the people who did this to consider how wrong their actions were.

They were great-full to all people supporting them and standing against racism. It was great to see them getting on with the clean-up job.

They have express thanks for the offers of help but they do not need any help for the time-being.

The vast coverage on social media had triggered an interest in the mainstream media and the Irish Sun reporters were on site. Later that evening Mohammed spoke on 4FM. There are now a few more pieces written about it in some other online media sites.

The family supports any local or wider anti-racist campaigns to highlight the horrors of this attack.  Despite being terribly shaken by this event, they are keen to get on with their lives and their business. As Mohammed explained, it will take them a while before the family can put all of this behind them.

Following our visit, a number of anti-racist campaign groups have decisive to issue a statement on against this attack. A statement will be issued in the coming days and various groups, including the ARN and ENAR have agreed to continue campaigning against such racist attacks both in Tallaght and elsewhere. There will be more announcement on this in coming days.

Twitter and other social media have proven to be extremely useful in getting the news out and informing the public. Sunday night, the #racism and #antiracism tags on twitter were trading subjects in Ireland.

Below are some of the pictures I have taken during the visit to the store.

Follow #racism #antiracism for twitter updates

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