News came in today that Muslim graves were desecrated with racist graffiti in the Newport area of Wales. Statements around the murder of Lee Rigby and ‘White Power’ were placed onto four gravestones in the Christchurch cemetery. Slogans for the British National Party, the UK Independence Party and the National Front were also placed onto the Gravestones.
People visiting graves nearby were disgusted at the Swastikas that were freshly painted onto the gravestones. One of the passers by stated, “I think it’s absolutely disgusting,” said Mrs Thomas, 51, who lives in Christchurch.
“These people are dead and gone now, what is the point? It is the ultimate disrespect. What’s next? My aunt is quite upset by the swastikas, she is German and has lived here for 60 years.”
One of the gravestones had the following words written onto the back of it, “Kill the Muslims, Pakis.”
This is the second attack on a Muslim gravesite this month. Earlier this month, there was an attack on a Muslim graveyard in Lancashire, which was widely reported through the press. In this attack, a single Muslim grave was attacked though the community impact of it was mentioned in the article. Even a small incident like this, has community ramifications.
The Newport attack on 4 Muslim graves, brings to mind the attacks on Jewish graveyards where Swastikas have sadly been emblazoned across headstones. Jewish communities have suffered such attacks for many decades and have been the focus for Far Right groups. What is clear is that anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim prejudice have to be tackled together and this also means that Jewish communities who have tackled such issues before, have a lot of information and tried and tested practices that can assist Muslims in working through such community incidents. What is also clear is that there is no room for anti-Semitism within Muslim communities if we are to collectively tackle what seems to be a growing focus on Muslim institutions like mosques and Muslim graveyards. There needs to be a zero tolerance for anti-Semitism if we are to collectively and strategically work together as communities and we are clear on this. The future involves support from Jewish communities and with this comes a clear statement and intent to ensure that anti-Semitism within Muslim communities is tackled. There is simply no compromise on this, if we are to tackle the hate and poison which sees Muslim graveyards desecrated in such awful ways.