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New Mosque Attack Saddens UK Muslims

Published: 27/08/2013 12:18:14 PM GMT
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CAIRO - A mosque in Harlow, Essex, has been hit by a suspected anti-Muslim arson attack that took place overnight, adding to British Muslim fears of their safety in the light of increasing anti-Muslim attacks.“It's unfortu (more)

CAIRO - A mosque in Harlow, Essex, has been hit by a suspected anti-Muslim arson attack that took place overnight, adding to British Muslim fears of their safety in the light of increasing anti-Muslim attacks.

“It's unfortunate and we are very saddened,” Zia Rehman, the Islamic Centre's vice-chairman, told Belfast Telegraph.

“We have been working very hard within the local community, building bridges, and we were hoping we wouldn't have this kind of problem, but in the current climate there are elements within society that are not happy and there are issues,” he added.

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According to police early reports, the incident at Harlow Islamic Centre in Paringdon Road, Harlow, Essex, took place between 10.30pm and 4am on Monday, August 26.

No one was injured in the suspected attack and the centre suffered limited damage and hoped to re-open in time for people to attend prayers today.

Rehman noted that although police still have to determine the motives behind the apparent attack, he suspects it may have been due to anti-Muslim prejudice.

The mosque was set up 18 years ago when the Muslim community in Harlow grew in numbers and now serves a 2,000-strong community, according to the centre's website.

The number of anti-Islamic attacks has increased as much as tenfold in the days that followed the Woolwich murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

A series of attacks against Muslim targets included three terrorist bombings targeted at different mosques in West Midlands in July.

Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks in Britain, has also reported 212 “anti-Muslim incidents” after the Woolwich attack.

The figure included 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti-Muslim sentiments.

Police Investigation

The city officials condemned the suspected attack as an 'extremely concurring incident'.

"We are in contact with the police and the Islamic Centre to offer whatever help we can,” While Rod Truan, deputy leader of Harlow Council.

"If this is in fact an arson attack I know Harlow and all its faiths will stand together to deplore an act of this nature."

Police said a joint forensics investigation was underway and detectives are looking at CCTV footage.

“Detectives are investigating this concerning incident and there will be a significant police presence throughout the day to reassure all local residents as we seek to identify those responsible,” Chief Inspector Ed Wells said.

Britain is home to a Muslim community of nearly 2.7 million.

A recent research published last June by The Independent newspaper showed that between 40 and 60 per cent of mosques and other Islamic centers (around 700) had been targeted since 9/11.

The number of anti-Islamic attacks has increased as much as tenfold in the days that followed the Woolwich murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Not only in mosques.

The research warned that Islamophobic attacks spreading across Britain have also targeted Muslims at home in the past month.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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