A mosque was vandalised in an Islamophobic attack in Luton in the early hours of July 23. They smashed windows and spray painted ‘EDL’ and a swastika on the walls of the mosque.
The incident is the latest in a chain of arson and vandalism attacks on mosques and the property of many Muslims in Luton – a town where the English Defence League (EDL), anti Muslim, anti Islam group – is largely active.
Imam Shahid Ahmed from the Medina mosque related to The Muslim News about the attack. “When I locked the mosque up at 11pm everything was okay. When I returned at 4am for morning prayers I found two windows smashed and the words ‘EDL’ and a swastika painted on the walls.”
Ahmed said the “racists who attacked the mosque are ignorant.” He added, “This is a place of worship. They have no understanding for people of any religion.”
Maqsood Anwar, a member of the mosques’ committee and a local, describes the attacks as “disgusting” and told The Muslim News that this was not the first time a mosque in Luton has been attacked. “Last year, petrol bombs were thrown into a local mosque causing considerable damage. Many cars have been scratched and spray painted with words such as ‘EDL,’ he said.
A spokesman for Luton Council told The Muslim News that the Council “is appalled by this action and condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”
The spokesman said they will be looking into having “additional lighting in the area – to help provide further reassurance to everyone.”
A Bedfordshire Police spokesman told The Muslim News that investigation “is still on-going as we take these kinds of crimes very seriously indeed and we know that all communities find them offensive and frightening.” However, the police refused to to say whether the attack was Islamophobic. “At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest who is responsible for this incident or what the
person’s motive may have been,” the Spokesman said.
<!–Email this story to a friend –>(www.muslimnews.co.uk / 26.08.2011)