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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Midlands Mosque Vandalised on Remembrance Day

A Midlands mosque was vandalised on the morning of Armistice Day in what is suspected to be a hate crime.
The Masjid-E-Umar in Darlaston, West Midlands was vandalised on the morning of Remembrance Day in what is suspected to be a hate crime in retaliation against the fifty Muslim individuals who took part in burning poppies on Remembrance Day 2010.

The attack occurred between the hours of 7:30am and 11:00am. The suspects were said to have jumped over the locked gates and spray painted a graffiti image of a poppy on the mosque door with the text ‘‘Burn this one’’ to signal the mosque as a supporter of the poppy burning incident.

In 2010, to commemorate Remembrance Day, fifty individuals under a now banned extremist group Muslim Against Crusades, took part in b
urning poppies near Albert Hall in London causing disruption.

CCTV was in operation outside the mosque but no footage of the perpetrators had been captured.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after 12pm and patrolled the area for the remainder of the day. The graffiti was removed but the mosque door was damaged.

This isn’t the first time that the Darlaston mosque has been attacked. Two years ago, an attacker spray painted racist words on the mosque but was caught on CCTV and received community service. And following the London 7/7 bombings, a brick was thrown at the mosque leaving permanent damage to the building.

A Darlaston community member said that the racists who attacked the mosque were ignorant as they ‘‘are over 2 million Muslims in the UK, how can they blame the actions of fifty people to be the beliefs of 2 million?’’ Another community member expressed her thoughts on the attackers, “they have no understanding or respect for any religion,” she said. “This is a place of worship. We live in a multicultural society. We have to respect each other. That’s what it means to be British.”

Other Attacks on Mosques

Similar attacks on mosques throughout the UK have been occurring, some even more violent than the one at Masjid-E-Umar. In July 2011, a Luton mosque was
attacked in the early hours of the morning. The attackers broke the mosque windows and sprayed graffiti on the walls.

At the Redbridge Islamic Centre, an
incident was reported where attackers shouted racial abuse and threw bricks at the building while worshippers were inside, injuring one man.

Following from the deadly hit-and-run of three Muslim men in Birmingham, in the wake of the 2011 riots, several mosques in Birmingham
received a number of threats.

Original reporting conducted by Reyhana Patel and published by Suite101.

Copyright Reyhana Patel. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.
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