By: Chandrashekar Bhat
SCOTLAND health secretary Humza Yousaf’s wife Nadia El-Nakla said he received a volley of abuse and threats after the couple went public about a Dundee nursery refusing a place for their daughter.
She said the “sickening” abuse her family received on social media only showed Scotland’s “underbelly of racism” which her husband “experienced for years”.
El-Nakla said she received emails that said their house deserves to be firebombed, The Courier reported on Wednesday (4).
“We have had emails saying our house deserves to be firebombed and the kids burned in the car.”
Yousaf complained to the Care Inspectorate saying Little Scholars Day Nursery at Broughty Ferry twice refused a place for his two-year-old daughter Amal whereas a probe by El-Nakla showed that its responses were positive when people with white Scottish-sounding names approached it.
The senior leader of the Scottish National Party and MSP sought an explanation from the nursery whether there was any discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity and religion. However, the nursery flatly denied any wrongdoing.
El-Nakla said her family was accused of “playing the race card”, and described it as “victim-blaming at the highest level”.
“People are saying we are ‘playing the race card’, and ultimately they will have some kind of view, whether that is racism, Islamophobia, a dislike of Humza or our colour, and to me that shows the underbelly of racism in Scotland… What frustrates me is people who have never experienced discrimination in their life are telling me how I should deal with it”, she told The Courier.
She was in tears after reading some of the remarks on Twitter and Facebook and the comments left her asking herself, “do I defend my family or let people say whatever they want?”
Some people told her that she misunderstood the situation, despite her having evidence about racism, she claimed.
“Hidden and veiled racism” made her “determined to speak out”, she said.
Yousaf, whose father had emigrated to the UK from Pakistan, tweeted on Tuesday (3) , “Of all the roles I’ve been given in life ‘daddy’ is the most important. I am sorry I could not protect you a little longer from hatred this world all too often throws at us. Thank you to everyone, particularly those across political divide, for kind msgs of solidarity & support.”