After awaking to news of broken windows at a local mosque, non-Muslims in Norwich opened their hearts with messages written in the paper variety to show support for their local Muslim community.
Messages spoke of their disgust at the mindless act of vandalism, others expressed messages of solidarity and peace.
Ruth Phelps, helped organise this act of solidarity after being sickened by vandalism, told local press: “I have lived in Norwich for 23 years and I know we are all in this community together. It’s dreadful what’s happened. And for it to happen in Norwich is so upsetting for the community.”
Police are investigating but nobody is jumping to conclusions that the vandalism was anti-Muslim in nature. The incident took place at 6:30am on Saturday and damage to the 11 panes of glass will cost upwards of £1,000 to replace.
Jamal Sealy thanked the wider community and highlighted how some are even raising funds to support them: “Ever since it happened Facebook has been going crazy, we’ve had attention on our website, and members of the public have been coming in non-stop, posting flyers and leaflets in the door,” he said. “We’ve heard of people trying to raise the funds to help us pay for the damage. It’s been overwhelming; it’s really been a positive thing.”
Nor will vandalism deter the openness the mosque expresses to the wider community. It will continue hosting an open-to-all coffee morning every Sunday and the upcoming Islamic Awareness Week (March 17-23) will see this openness continue and grow.
Donations to help pay for the repairs can be made to the Ihsan Mosque and Islamic Centre at 17 Chapelfield, Norwich.
Anybody with information should contact Sgt Dan Cocks at Bethel Street Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.