Hollyoaks sows the seeds of its upcoming radicalisation storyline by fuelling the vendetta between Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) and the Maaliks when Imran accidentally destroys Ste’s business when he starts a fire.
The soap recently announced vulnerable Ste would be targeted and groomed by a group of far right extremists, led by newcomer Jonny Baxter (Ray Quinn) who take advantage of the snack van owner’s feud with Dr Misbah Maalik (Harvey Virdi), who he blames for the death of his sister Tegan, and attempt to indoctrinate him to join their cause.
In Tuesday 27 November’s Channel 4 episode, aggressive teenager Imran (Ijaz Rana) is driven to seek revenge on Ste after finding out he planted alcohol on his mother at work leading to her temporary suspension from medical duties at Dee Valley Hospital. While Ste prepares his food van for a job the following day, he goes outside to investigate a noise and is viciously attacked by a hooded figure.
Unfortunately the hob has been left on and the scuffle causes the curtains to end up catching alight from the flames – before long the van is soon ablaze. As Ste watches in horror, his hooded attacker is revealed to be Imran, whose misguided efforts to defend his mother have made the tense situation even worse…
Crossing over with Ste’s increasing hatred for Misbah and her family is Imran’s domestic violence plot. The schoolboy has been subjecting his mother to violent beatings for months, and has now turned on big sister Yazz (Haiesha Mistry) who has become his latest victim and is determined to report her troubled sibling to the authorities – despite Misbah’s insistence thus far to protect her son.
“Discovering she’s not the only victim of Imran’s attacks is the end of the line as far as Misbah is concerned,” reveals Rana. “She thinks Irman will not be stopped unless the nasty truth finally comes out. Imran’s life falls apart and the people he loves the most are horrified by his actions.
“He’s been getting away with this for almost a year now. Because he always apologises to Misbah, she keeps giving him more chances and stopped Yazz telling the rest of the family as she believed Imran would change his ways – but that will change very soon.”
Imran’s outbursts have becoming increasingly more violent, which Rana puts down to his alter ego internalising his inner rage for too long. “As a troubled teenager, Imran doesn’t know how to control his rage and anger and takes it out on his mum or sister. It’s sort of a release for him and he doesn’t realise the consequences, which come back to haunt him every time.
“He’s not a villain, he’s a troubled boy going through mental issues where he cannot control himself. He does want to change, as he instantly regrets it every time he hurts someone. This shows he needs help, and maybe if he did that then things could change…”
As the rest of the Maaliks learn of Imran’s violent abuse later this week, will he face action from the authorities? Will he get the professional help he needs for his anger issues? And can the clan band together as the spectre of racial hatred looms in the community?
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