Credit: PA News
Police have launched an investigation after worshippers at a mosque in east London were attacked with eggs.
Local politicians have condemned the incident at the Ilford Islamic Centre as a “disgraceful act of hatred and violence” that has “no place” in the community.
The Metropolitan Police said it received a report of racially aggravated criminal damage at around 11pm on Tuesday evening at a mosque in Albert Road, Ilford.
Met Police have launched a hate crime investigation after Muslims were targeted with eggs and stones at Ilford Islamic Centre yesterday evening after finishing evening prayershttps://t.co/6UM7JHl5XE
— Tell MAMA UK (@TellMamaUK) May 5, 2021
The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO) tweeted that eggs and other items had been thrown at worshippers and that five people were hit, but none seriously injured.
The Met said that so far there have been no arrests.
The Muslim community is observing the holy month of Ramadan, which ends next week.
Ahmed Nahwaz, director and secretary of the centre, said the incident was “a shame” but the community remained strong.
“I was caught by surprise because leading up to this we had a very quiet and peaceful 20-odd nights, and then this happened,” he told the PA news agency.
“We weren’t expecting it this kind of time in the period of reflection for everyone, having gone through Covid.”
“It’s a shame (but) we’re used to it,” said Mr Nawaz.
“We’re a strong community and we take it on the chin. It makes us weary rather than fearful.”
Mr Nawaz said police and local authorities had been “very supportive” following the incident but that attacks against the Muslim community were often “glossed over” in the media.
“We just want to be treated like humans, just like everyone else,” he said.
Sam Tarry, Labour MP for Ilford South, said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear of this Islamophobic attack against Ilford Mosque.
“These disgraceful acts of violence and hatred have no place in Ilford, and I hope that the perpetrators face justice as soon as possible.”
Jas Athwal, Labour leader of Redbridge Council, said the council would continue to work closely with police and that security in areas surrounding the mosque would be increased.
“Racist incidents like this have no place in our borough and we will work with our friends and neighbours at Albert Road Mosque, and the police to ensure the safety of all worshippers.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, in charge of policing for the Redbridge area, said: “We take all reports of hate crime very seriously and have launched an investigation.
“Incidents like this will not be tolerated and my officers will be undertaking enhanced patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the local community and visitors to the mosque.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police on 101. They can also report to Tell MAMA on 0800 456 1226, or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Credit: PA News