An Algerian-Canadian diplomat and expert on Islamic extremism has said London is less safe than New York and warned that Londoners would be better off carrying guns rather than relying on police to protect them.
The comments came from Zakaria Fellah, 49, after he was assaulted by a man shouting anti-Semitic abuse. The attacker apparently strongly objected to Fellah walking dogs in Belsize Park and headbutted him, smashing his nose and leaving him needing eight stitches. A doctor at London’s Royal Free Hospital told Fellah his nose had been permanently damaged by the attack.
Speaking to North-London newspaper Ham & High, Fellah said: “he suddenly ran towards me and headbutted me on my nose. I was stunned and fell backwards. I was not expecting it at all. The next thing I knew, when I came round after ten or 15 seconds, I am lying on the floor and he is standing over me. My nose is destroyed.
“I am just shocked, so shocked. It seems that London has become more dangerous than New York. This seems like such a peaceful, friendly neighbourhood, yet I feel safer on the streets of Manhattan without any doubt, where nothing like this has ever happened to me”.
Despite describing them as “courteous”, Fellah criticised London’s police for taking 45 minutes to arrive – rather than the five minute response time expected after a serious assault in his home city New York.
Born a Muslim, Fellah fled Algeria after his father was murdered by an armed Islamist gang. Following a career in diplomacy, he now tours the world lecturing on Islamic extremism.