London mosque targeted by anti-Islamic graffiti

London mosque targeted by anti-Islamic graffiti
Police are investigating an incident in which anti-Islamic slogans were spray-painted near a mosque in south London in an attack described by officials as 'sickening'.
3 min read
02 January, 2020
London's Metropolitan police are investigating anti-Islamic graffiti attack that appeared near a mosque [Getty]
A building near a mosque and cultural centre in Brixton, south London, was found daubed with anti-Islamic slogans on Wednesday by the Metropolitan Police.

Police officers were called to the building following reports of spray-painting near the North Brixton Islamic Cultural Centre on Wednesday morning.

The Met said in a statement that initial inquiries are being carried out as part of a full investigation. 

"We are working alongside Lambeth council to ensure the offensive remarks are removed as soon as possible," the statement said.

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"Shockingly, hate crime affects people from all walks of life and impacts on communities across London," the Met added.

"All members of our communities have the right to go about their daily life without fear of verbal, physical or written abuse. The Met does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we are committed to tackling offences like this as thoroughly as possible."

The capital's mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim, denounced the incident on Twitter, saying he was "disgusted" by the attack.

"Disgusted to hear that Islamophobic slogans have been spray painted near the North Brixton Islamic Centre. @metpoliceuk are working with Lambeth Council to have them removed, but let me be clear: all prejudice is cowardly and criminals will face the full force of the law," he tweeted.

City Hall's Victims' Commissioner Claire Waxman called the vandalism "sickening".

"We must stand united against hate & in solidarity with North Brixton Islamic Centre," she tweeted.

MP Jess Phillips also tweeted to denounce the attack, saying a similar incident had occurred in her Birmingham constituency the same week.

"I'm afraid this is the same in Birmingham this week, in my constituency walls dawbed with islamophobic hate, frightening local families," she tweeted. "We will stand up to this and all hatred."

Local Councillor Mohammed Seedat, Lambeth's cabinet member for community safety, said that many residents "fear they are living in a hostile environment."

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"The intimidating racist graffiti on synagogues and mosques won't divide Londoners, but will confirm the worst fears of many of our residents," he said

"The council and police will continue to reassure communities. But we also need politicians, particularly the government, to act responsibly in rhetoric and action to quell the rise of extremism and division in our society – whether it is Islamist or rightwing," he added.

Local MP Florence Eshalomi called the attack "disturbing".

The incident comes just three days after shops, cafes and a local synagogue in London's Hampstead area were vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Spray-painted Stars of David and "9.11" were found daubed onto shop-fronts on Sunday.

In its 2018 report, Islamophobia watchdog Tell MAMA UK identified a siginificant spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the country in August after Boris Johnson wrote a newspaper column referring to veiled Muslim women as "letterboxes" and "bank-robbers". 

In the week following his article, anti-Muslim incidents increased by 375 percent.

The election of Boris Johnson in the December general election was met with outcry from many Muslims in the UK, who accuse the Conservative Party leader of propagating Islamophobia.

The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Harun Khan said the election result sent a "palpable sense of fear amongst Muslim communities around the country".

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