A PRICEY Toyota Supra, a classic Nova and a special edition Volkswagen Golf are the centrepieces of a play about Islamophobia that will be staged in a city carpark.

Peaceophobia will take place in the Q carpark in Glasgow’s Merchant City and is a “boundary-breaking” performance which explores the sanctuary young Muslims find in faith and their cars against the backdrop of rising Islamophobia.

Co-director Mohammad Ali Yunis is owner of the Golf which he regards as his physical and mental “getaway” vehicle from the Islamophobia and racism he regularly experiences.

He told the Sunday National the play was important because it “explores the minds of young Pakistani men” in the UK and why they feel the need to own and modify cars.

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“I see them as our security places,” he said. “We get spat on and called names, we are pushed to the side by the police and higher authorities and any time there is something like the London bombings there is an increase in Islamophobia.

“I put my anger and my issues into my car and loads of other people do the same. It is about modifying it to suit your personality so it might be really bright and colourful or it might be dark.

“I’ve been going through a lot of stuff recently so I feel I need to get an all blacked-out car because that is how I am feeling. I just want to be in my own shell.”

Yunis said the play was about why there was a growing trend to make modifications to cars so they have features like loud exhausts and loud sound systems

“Young Muslim men sometimes can’t speak about their feelings so they come out in other ways,” he said. “That is why sometimes you get young kids driving without insurance and doing stupid things. It’s because they are frustrated.

“We don’t get listened to even though Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. I am not saying that I am better than anyone else or our religion is better but it seems to be something a lot of people can’t stomach. I just try to be the best I can and I just wish people would understand that.”

The National:

Yunis said he hoped the play would help to address some of the stereotypes that exist around young Muslim men.

“At first I thought we would be pissing in the wind with it but people have come to the show and been blown away – it really takes their breath away.”

Taking the unusual step of staging the production in a carpark was natural, according to Ali, as it meant moving vehicles could be incorporated into the production.

“We start off by moving our vehicles into position to begin the play and the loud music and loud exhaust gets the audience on their tiptoes so there is no other place better for it,” he said.

“If it was on some stage with just three boys talking about their feelings it would not be exciting but there are £50,000 to £60,000 worth of motors in that car park so it is a thrilling piece of drama.”

Produced by award winning company Common Wealth and co-directed by Mohammad Ali Yunis, Sohail Ahmed and Muhammad Desai, Peaceophobia is part of Tramway’s summer season and takes place in Q carpark from June 15-17.