Plaid Cymru has hit out at the ‘unacceptable’ Islamaphobia aimed at one of its activists, pictured wearing the niqab.
The string of vile replies came in response to the party posting a link to a campaign video, accompanied by a screenshot of Ms Al-Faifi, who is one of many people included in the footage.
She is pictured wearing the Muslim face veil, which is often confused with a burkha.
One responder, @karolJacquin or ‘Karol’, replied with a string of extreme videos and pictures of a ‘killer sect’ in the Middle East.
Activists, it's us.
Watch our Party Election Broadcast tonight on BBC Wales, ITV Wales, and S4C.
Or click 'Get Reminder' to watch it on our facebook page: https://t.co/mVLd01wRte pic.twitter.com/kadSecvgkI
— Plaid Cymru (@Plaid_Cymru) November 14, 2019
She claimed that Ms Al-Faifi ‘follows an Islamic religious sect that doesn’t believe in diversity’ adding that the ‘killer’ sect would ‘slowly penetrate communities until they’re strong then they’ll reveal their true colours’.
Another, @svallerine or ‘Scott’, who describes himself as pro-Brexit and pro-Conservatives, wrote: ‘Who am I voting for ?A letterbox?Ghost from Pac-Man ? (sic)’
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has refused to apologise for comparing women who wear veils to letterboxes.
There has been a reported spike in hate crimes against Muslims across the UK and last week, Muslim women told Metro.co.uk that they feared for their safety after Mr Johnson U-turned on his pledge to hold an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
On Twitter, Muslim women regularly face Islamophobia.
Diolch to all my @Plaid_Cymru friends and others. I just finished from speaking at human rights conference in London & just managed to see your supportive & compassionate tweets. It's sad to see this abuse but it's a call to work collectively for more welcoming & inclusive #Wales
— Sahar Al-Faifi (@SaharAlFaifi) November 16, 2019
The initial picture was branded ‘repugnant’ by @Mrs Jane Coles or ‘Lady Janeicorn’ – a ‘libertarian’ who said she had ‘Welsh ancestry’ and that the image did not ‘represent the philosophy of my people’.
However, amid the string of abusive messages, there were also supportive tweets.
Ms Al-Faifi wrote: ‘Diolch [thank you] to all my @Plaid_Cymru friends and others. I just finished from speaking at human rights conference in London & just managed to see your supportive & compassionate tweets. It’s sad to see this abuse but it’s a call to work collectively for more welcoming & inclusive #Wales’.
Former Plaid leader Leanne Wood added that her abusers should ‘just DO ONE’.
She added that the abuse provided ‘a window of understanding of the abuse some women in our country face… But they help to explain why we have seen such a spike in hate crime, especially against women.’
Some of the responses to this provide a window of understanding of the abuse some women in our country face. I am appalled by some of the attitudes shown. But they help to explain why we have seen such a spike in hate crime, especially against women. #StopIt https://t.co/Goo5cfupel
— LeanneWood 🏴 (@LeanneWood) November 17, 2019
In a follow up tweet, the party wrote: ‘The abusive Islamophobic responses to our tweet are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
‘We stand with Sahar and all Muslim people in Wales and beyond.
‘Wales is rich in its diversity. We are all Welsh citizens. We are all equal.’
But that too was met with Islamophobic responses.
Another Twitter user, @GeeMan620 ‘GWYD’, wrote: ‘You knew exactly what you were doing & you should be ashamed of yourselves.
‘Horrible way of playing politics -pitting people against each other just to stand back & act innocent (& get the attention you wanted.) hopefully it’ll backfire badly, as it should! (sic)’.