An OUTRAGED couple claim a lifeguard at a local swimming pool made racist and anti-Islamic comments and gestures against them.
Hastings Observer Muslim convert Neaal Blake, 35 and his 26-year-old wife Sophia, of Cornfield Terrace, St Leonards, were with their four children at Bexhill Leisure Pool in the Ravenside Retail Park when the alleged incident happened. Mrs Blake claims the lifeguard made the racist gestures at her husband, a converted Muslim, when he saw his Arabic tattoo on his back, which is the Fajr, or ‘dawn prayer’, the first of the five daily prayers offered by practicing Muslims.
She said: “As my husband got out of the pool to go on the slide with my four-year-old son Isa, one of the lifeguards was looking at Neaal’s tattoo, went to his colleague and started taking the mickey by mimicking the loud war cry used by Islamic terrorists. (Video below)
“I was very shocked and had a go at him but he had nothing to say. I asked to see the manager to make a complaint. It was the first day out swimming as a family and we feel we can’t go back there.” (That’s the idea) She added the lifeguard was suspended for five days and later made a complaint to the police after the alleged incident, which happened on August 6.
Mr Blake said: “I felt disgusted when my wife told me what happened. In this day and age you don’t expect this to happen at a public swimming pool, especially when you’re with your family. We don’t feel we can return to the pool.” (Good)
Blake added, “He then did a gesture with his hands minicking a bomb exploding.