A MUSLIM man left traumatised after being assaulted and taunted with racial slurs outside a Wallsend mosque says the majority of Australians are tolerant excluding ‘‘a snobbish upper class and non-skilled lower class who have such racial mentality’’.
Dr Iqbal Kabir, a Bangladeshi PhD researcher working at the Hunter Medical Research Institute, was grabbed by the hair and punched in the head when he was confronted outside the mosque as he left prayer last Wednesday night.
The attack occurred in front of two young children and followed Dr Kabir seeking advice from a dentist friend about surgery his wife had undertaken earlier that day.
‘‘The children got very frightened, started crying and [the dentist] moved into the mosque with his children,’’ Dr Kabir said.
‘‘Then the man came towards me and shouted [about] what I [was] doing here.
‘‘He said ‘‘you immigrant, f---ing bastard, why are you here, I’m an Australian, this is my country, you go back where you came from’’.’’
Dr Kabir was physically attacked as he attempted to retreat.
Two other men turned up in a car and pulled back the attacker.
Dr Kabir said he had chosen Newcastle over a Cambridge University scholarship in a bid to ‘‘enjoy the multicultural environment’’.
‘‘Never in my nightmares did I think that in such a place an incident could happen,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m mentally traumatised.’’
But he did not think all Australians felt this way.
‘‘I think this is not very common in average Australians but there is a snobbish upper class and non-skilled lower class who has such racial mentality,’’ Dr Kabir said.
Newcastle City police are continuing to investigate the assault.