Over 100 people attended a vigil in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, to remember Mushin Ahmed last Saturday.
The 81 year old died on Thursday of last week, 11 days after he was attacked while walking to a mosque for morning prayers. He was left with serious head injuries.
Police have not ruled out that the attack was racially-motivated. Two men have been charged in connection with the assault and a further two arrested and bailed.
The vigil, called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF), was attended by trade unionists, socialists, representative from faith groups and many local Yemenis.
Phil Turner from Rotherham UAF told Socialist Worker, “People in Rotherham are shocked and appalled at what has happened.
“The vigil was very dignified, but there was also a lot of anger.”
Fascists and racists have tried to capitalise on the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal that was exposed in a report last year. They push the racist myth that there is a specific connection between Islam and abuse.
They have failed to make any real headway in Rotherham. But their presence helps create an atmosphere that encourages racism —and makes racist assaults more likely.
Activists are organising to protest against the Nazi Britain First group, which plans to demonstrate in Rotherham on Saturday 5 September.