Yousaf slams Islamophobic graffiti targeted at him near his Dundee home

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2024

EDINBURGH: Scotland’s First Minister has said it is “increasingly difficult” to shield his children from racism after he was targeted with Islamophobic graffiti near his Dundee home.

Racist slurs relating to Humza Yousaf’s Pakistani heritage were sprayed on the walls and fences of homes in Hamilton Street, Broughty Ferry, on Monday.It is near where the First Minister lives with his wife and two children.

Mr Yousaf, who became Scotland’s first Muslim and ethnic minority First Minister just over a year ago, responded to the graffiti on X, formerly Twitter.He said: “I do my best to shield my children from the racism and Islamophobia I face on a regular basis. That becomes increasingly difficult when racist grafitti (sic) targeting me appears near our family home.

“A reminder of why we must, collectively, take a zero-tolerance approach to hatred.” It is understood the graffiti has since been removed, with Police Scotland also investigating the incident, which happened on the day the Scottish Government’s controversial, new, hate crime law came into force.

It is not the first time Mr Yousaf has responded to Islamophobia targeted at his family.Mr Yousaf, whose in-laws were trapped in Gaza for about a month before fleeing through Egypt, said in January that Muslim and Palestinian lives were viewed as “cheap” and “different”. Last month, he also condemned “Islamophobic attacks” on his family as he denied claims a government donation to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) was a conflict of interest.

At the time, he said: “Due to my faith and race, there will always be those, particularly on the far-right, who will desperately try to prove my loyalties lie elsewhere.” Following the graffiti, an SNP spokesperson said: “This graffiti was sickening and completely unacceptable, it is a reminder why we need to take a zero tolerance approach to hatred. “We are grateful to the authorities for acting to remove it so quickly because this type of vile, racist language can have a serious impact on the individuals, families, and wider community who are forced to see it.“Racism has absolutely no place in our society and everyone must play their part to challenge it.” Police Scotland said “inquiries are ongoing”.