Probe into ‘racism’ of RMBC official - Islamophobic comments on Facebook being investigated

Probe into ‘racism’ of RMBC official - Islamophobic comments on Facebook being investigated

By Chris Brayford | 20/06/2022

Probe into ‘racism’ of RMBC official - Islamophobic comments on Facebook being investigated
Cllr Taiba Yasseen

 

A COUNCIL enforcement officer is under investigation for alleged racism and Islamophobia.

After the offensive Facebook comments came to light, a union official representing taxi drivers in Rotherham told the Advertiser he was “appalled” and called for the worker to be sacked.

Rotherham Council said it took all hate crime allegations seriously and was investigating, while it is understood South Yorkshire Police is also considering whether the online posts from 2014 constitute a hate crime.

Among them was one reading: “Sick of hearing all these restaurants swapping everything for halal meat. If these P**** don’t like our food they should f*** off back to their country”.

Others stated: “They should live how we want to live or leave the country. F*** the burka,” and: “Bottom line is if they don’t like it they should f*** off.”

And another disturbing comment read: “Blow up their country see how they like it.”

Nasar Raoof, secretary of the GMB’s S75 branch, which represents taxi drivers in Yorkshire and Humberside, said many members were of an ethnic minority group and he was “appalled” by the comments.

He said: “Our members and representatives do not tolerate any level of discrimination or racism.

“We have put in a formal complaint regarding these racist views.

“After these racist views surfaced, rightfully our members in the taxi trade that have dealings with the council on a daily basis were very concerned.

“There is no place for racism or discrimination in our community and not when dealing with authorities.”

Mr Raoof questioned the council’s vetting procedure when hiring new employees, adding: “This is supposed to be an elected council that is working for the community, not against it. It’s really concerning.

"We are demanding a full apology and the immediate dismissal of the council employee.

“There is no place for racism or discrimination in our community.”

Cllr Saghir Alam, cabinet member for corporate services, community safety and finance, said he had been made aware of the issues around the offensive posts and had immediately reported it to a senior council officer.

“There is zero tolerance to any form of direct or indirect discrimination,” he said.

“The matter at present is being dealt with through HR processes.”

Cllr Taiba Yasseen, who represents Boston Castle ward, said: “I take any complaints raised about discrimination very seriously and I have referred the matter to the council to investigate.”

A council spokesperson said: “We take any form of hate allegations very seriously and consider the use of this type of language to be completely unacceptable.

“The council has zero tolerance to any form of direct or indirect discrimination.

“The complaints are currently being investigated.”

We attempted to contact the under-fire worker for comment but found he had deleted all his social media accounts.

“The matter at present is being dealt with through HR processes.”

Cllr Taiba Yasseen, who represents Boston Castle ward, said: “I take any complaints raised about discrimination very seriously and I have referred the matter to the council to investigate.”

Cllr Yasseen (right) said she had been told taxi drivers’ stories about how “they feel they have been discriminated against”.

She added: “After raising my concerns within the council, I have been informed that the allegations are being investigated.”

A council spokesperson said: “We take any form of hate allegations very seriously and consider the use of this type of language to be completely unacceptable.

“The council has zero tolerance to any form of direct or indirect discrimination.

“The complaints are currently being investigated.”

We attempted to contact the under-fire worker for comment but found he had deleted all his social media accounts.