Yesterday, we were informed of a hate crime that took place against the Hussania Islamic Centre in Bradford. We have informed the police and it should be noted that the police and local councillors, like local Bradford Councillor Mohammed Shabbir, were quick to condemn such bigotry and co-ordinate local action to stand with the beleaguered Shia community.
We also received further information that anti-Shia activity has been taking place in the last year in Bradford and Leeds. For example, a year ago, the following leaflet was distributed in schools and local businesses in West Yorkshire. Some individuals who received the leaflet felt that it demonised Shia Islam and Shia Muslims in local communities.
A source that we have communicated with from the Shia community today stated the following:
“The situation got so bad that Shia students were being bullied in schools. We met with local schools and there was only minor action taken and there was an effort to try and be more viglant against such literature and as time went on, things just quietened down. Now we have an attack on this mosque.”
The contact also stated that about two years ago, anti-Shia texts and Whatsapp messages were being circulated. They read as:
“++KINDLY READ PASS TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS++ as’saalamu’alaikum to all sunni brothers\sisters in Islam please avoid eating at these 2 shia takeaway in Bradford both are owned by shias who are supporters of hezbollah and bashar assad do not give support to those who are killing sunni Muslims in syria.”
We were informed that the message above was circulated with the address details of the Shia owned restaurants and recipients were encouraged to pass on the messages. They were, in effect, suggesting a boycott of Shia owned businesses.
We within TELL MAMA will do whatever we can to highlight, log and ensure that where possible, prosecutions can be brought with the police in relation to such incidents as that which took place against the Hussania mosque. Also, if you receive such material in the future, please do not hesitate to pass it onto us and you can e-mail us on email@example.com, Tweet us @tellmamauk or text message us on 0115 707 0007. You can also call us on 0800 456 1226.