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LGBT Syrian refugees ordered to leave Zara after homophobes attacked them

September 15, 2017

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JEAN LIOU

A group of five LGBT Syrian refugees say they were thrown out of Zara after a homophobic customer attacked them.

One member of the group, Tarek Almolki, told Dutch newspaper Het Parool that store staff in Amsterdam, Netherlands ignored the man as he began to abuse them.

Almolki says the homophobe began verbally abusing the group, but Zara employees failed to confront him on the remarks.

The alleged victim says the group was labelled “bad Muslims” and told they “deserve to die” by the man.

“He shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’ repeatedly across the store,” Almolki added.

In a terrifying turn of events, the man then took to attacked the group physically.

“The man tried to attack us several times, spat in our faces and shouted that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and he would kill us,” Almoki said.

The man then turned on a transgender members of the group – punching her in the face and tearing her dress.

He then “screamed that she was a ‘kafir’, an infidel who ought to die.’”, according to Almolki.

RELATED: Syrian immigrant beaten ‘for being gay’ in Sweden

Trans pride flags

The stunned and scared group say Zara staff “did nothing to protect us and laughed at us.”

Eventually security guards get involved in the situation – only to turn on the LGBT refugees.

Guards came to the area of the shop the incident had happened in, where they told the refugees they were banned for a year, and police would be alerted if they ever returned.

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The trans woman who was attacked, identified only as ‘E.’ told Het Parool: “I’m 42-years-old and gay and feel very comfortable about it.

“I come from Syria and have lived for 13 years in the Gulf states, but I’ve never experienced anything as dreadful as this.”

Representatives from Zara’s parent company, Inditex, declined to comment on the incident.

More: Homophobia, LGBT, refugees, Syria, Syrian, zara

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