A Muslim street warden nicknamed “Saddam” during a four-year ordeal of racist abuse has won £42,500 after an employment tribunal. Iqbal Rasheed, 59, was the target of a vindictive campaign while working for a security firm under contract for Westminster council and the Greater London Authority.
Father-of-three Mr Rasheed, of St John’s Wood, told how colleagues at Chubb Security nicknamed him “Saddam”, branded him a “madman who believes in God” and laughed at him when he fasted during Ramadan. He said he was once told not to clean the spray-painted word “n****r” from the side of Selfridges because it was “not offensive”.
Shortly after British hostage Ken Bigley was decapitated in Iraq, Mr Rasheed said he was told by a colleague: “I hope they nuke you Iraqis now.” One South African supervisor told him: “I don’t make tea, I get n*****s to make it for me.”
Mr Rasheed, who was born in Aden, Yemen, said he was the subject of a bullying campaign by line manager Mike Edwards and colleagues Marie Robinson and Carol Wheeler, who are mother and daughter. He told the Lite today: “From the moment I stepped in the office I could feel the tension against me. I have lived in this country since I was a child but I was made to feel like a total outsider.”
The tribunal in Kingsway awarded the payout after finding that Mr Rasheed had been the subject of “racial and religious discrimination”. The panel also found he had been unfairly dismissed, having been forced out by racially motivated harassment.
Chubb Security has been ordered to pay £10,000 in costs. No staff have been dismissed. Company spokeswoman Jackie Gregory said: “The tribunal relates to an incident more than two and a half years ago. We regret what has occurred, and have taken steps to address it.”
London Lite, 25 July 2007
See also Evening Standard, 25 July 2007