Muslim Man Allegedly Beaten Up For Saying 'Merry Christmas'.
A Palestinian man said he was beaten up by three men on Christmas Eve in Durham, England, after wishing them a "Merry Christmas."
Ihsan Abualrob, 27, claimed he thought he may die as three men repeatedly kicked him in the head and body. During his first Christmas outside of his home country, Abualrob visited the Happy Wanderer pub in Durham with friend Sherif Mohyeldeen when a strange man approached them to question their country of origin.
Abualrob shared that he was from Palestine while Mohyeldeen confirmed he was Egyptian. Abualrob told (http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/15795131.Muslim_man_says_he_was_beaten_for_saying__Merry_Christmas_/) the Northern Echo that the stranger responded: "Egypt, Palestine. You Muslims. Are you suicide bombers?"
The pair exited Happy Wanderer and encountered three other men that were waiting outside the pub for them. The trio of men began to insult Abualrob's religion, but he simply responded with "Merry Christmas, enjoy your holiday" before crossing the street. The strangers continued to follow close behind, however.
Abualrob claimed an empty glass bottle was thrown towards them right before one person lunged towards him, then punched him in the face. This subsequently caused him to fall to the ground.
"At one point I lost consciousness. I was helpless and thought this was the end of it. It was so scary and frightening," Abualrob said to the Northern Echo. "I felt not only in pain but humiliated. I come from Palestine, which is a very conflicted country, and I came here with the hope of having a peaceful life not having to live in fear."
"It's my first Christmas ever outside of my country and that is my Christmas treat? They did this for nothing," Abualrob added.
After Abualrob managed to flee the scene, local law enforcement was notified of the apparent incident. Upon arrival, authorities then took him to the University Hospital North Durham after suffering from minor injuries following the attack. Medical professionals confirmed that Abularob suffered a concussion in addition to bruising on his face and knee, the (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/muslim-student-durham-merry-christmas-eve-racist-attack-assault-beaten-up-ihsan-abualrob-a8131186.html) Independent reported.
Police arrested two men, ages 23 and 29, for their suspected involvement in the racial or religiously aggravated assault incident Sunday.
Abualrob is a graduate student at Durham University. He is working towards earning his masters in politics, which is a part of the (http://www.chevening.org/) U.K. Government's Chevening Scholarship program. This program intends to help develop global leaders.