Anti-Muslim backlash after Woolwich
compiled by Bob Pitt Islamophobia Watch
A list of press reports of Islamophobic crimes following the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday 22 May 2013
22 May: Attack on Al Falah Islamic Centre in Braintree, Essex. A man brandishing two knives threw a smoke bomb into the mosque shouting “Where is your Allah now?” Geoffrey Ryan, who would appear have links with the English Defence League, was arrested and charged with possession of offensive weapons and affray. He was remanded in custody.
22 May 2013: Attack on Gillingham Mosque. A man entered the building and began smashing up a bookcase and windows. Andrew Grindlay was arrested and charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage and burglary. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
22 May: Bacon and pork were left outside the Shah Jalal mosque in Cardiff.
23 May: During the night following the Woolwich killing the words “Hell 2 Muslims. EDL!” were painted on a wall in Mitcham, south London.
23 May: Vandalism at Maidenhead Mosque. When the caretaker arrived to open up in the morning he found that stones had been thrown at the building and a window broken.
23 May: Graffiti attack on Masjid-e-Usman in Bolton. The words “Islam = Evil” and “Terrorist training camp” were sprayed on the wall and door of the mosque and “Terrorist inside” on a car parked outside.
23 May: In the early hours of the morning two Bristol men were arrested under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred, after complaints about comments made on Twitter in connection with the Woolwich murder. They were bailed pending further inquiries.
23 May: Police were on guard outside the Baitul Futuh Mosque in south London after calls for the mosque to be burned down were posted on a far-right Facebook page, True British Patriots. A man named Dean Wyatt received a caution from police for tweeting: “Anyone fancy doing the mosque in morden over?”
23 May: Attack on Dorset Islamic Cultural Centre in Poole. Four men attacked the building in the middle of the afternoon and smashed its windows. Robert Mullins, Trevor Mullins, Michael Manyweathers and Jeremy Rochester were subsequently charged with racially aggravated criminal damage. Rochester was also charged with assault.
23 May: Attack on Dixy Chicken in Upton Park. Two men entered a Muslim-owned fried chicken shop in east London that evening and shouted “You killed one of our soldiers, we’ll kill you” before vandalising the shop.
23 May: Arson attack on the Zainabia Islamic Centre in Milton Keynes. A lighted bottle of inflammable liquid was thrown onto the roof of the building during the evening. About 30 people were inside at the time and they managed to put out the fire.
23 May: Attack on the Grimsby Mosque & Islamic Community Centre. Bricks were thrown through the windows of the building by a gang of drunken youths, narrowly missing people inside, and cars outside were damaged. Eleven teenagers were arrested in connection with the attack.
23 May: Attack on Folkestone Mosque. A rock was thrown at the front door of the building while worshippers were inside, and just after the incident four young girls walked past and made racist comments.
23 May: Paint bomb attack on Belfast Islamic Centre. A bottle containing paint was thrown at the building and two teenage boys were seen fleeing the scene.
23 May: A Lincoln man, Benjamin Flatters, was arrested over alleged racist comments made about Muslims on Facebook on the evening after the Woolwich murder. He was charged with posting messages of an indecent or grossly offensive nature for the purpose of causing distress or anxiety. He was remanded in custody.
24 May: Graffiti attack on Bournemouth Islamic Centre and Central Mosque. The words “Muslim scum” were daubed in red on the walls of the building during Thursday night.
24 May: A woman was arrested outside Gillingham Mosque after she abused worshippers attending Friday prayers, shouting “go back to your own country”.
24 May: A Bolton man was arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after posting Facebook comments about the Woolwich murder and was bailed pending further inquiries.
24 May: An English Defence League activist named Adam Rogers was arrested in connection with a series of “vile” and “inflammatory” messages that he posted on Facebook, in which he threatened to burn down a mosque in retaliation for the killing of Lee Rigby. He pleaded guilty to the charge of sending an indecent, obscene, or menacing message and was warned he faced a possible prison sentence.
25 May: Ahead of an English Defence League demonstration in Newcastle, Northumbria Police said that they had arrested three people, two from Gateshead and a third from Stockton, for posting racist comments on Twitter.
25 May: Four people were arrested during an English Defence League protest outside the Jami Mosque in Portsmouth, two of them for racially aggravated public order offences.
25 May: An English Defence League supporter named Tony Perrin was arrested over threatening comments on Facebook in response to the death of Lee Rigby. He posted a photo of himself wearing a balaclava and pointing a gun at the camera, accompanied by the warning: “I will do a lot worse than what took place yesterday and I have like minded people behind me. You muslims aren’t the only people that make explosives and your not the only people willing to commit acts of insane violence. Watch this space.”
25 May: English Defence League supporters clashed with police following a “Help for Heroes” march through Bristol. Lee Cousins was arrested after he mocked a Muslim prayer ritual by getting down on his hands and knees in the road before shouting racial slurs involving Muslims and Allah. He pleaded guilty to racially/religiously aggravated harassment or alarm and was fined £500 and ordered to pay £85 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge. Altogether 19 people were arrested and 12 charged with various public order offences.
26 May: Armed police raided a tenpin bowling alley in Barnwood, Gloucestershire, after a teenager employed there brought a gun into work claiming that it was for “protection against Muslims”.
26 May: Vandals daubed sick racist graffiti about Muslims and the Qur’an on a Plymouth underpass, along with a reference to the killing of Lee Rigby.
26 May: Arson attack on Grimsby Mosque. Despite the mosque being under police guard following the earlier attack, three petrol bombs were thrown at the building. People were in the mosque at the time, including a family with young children. Two ex-soldiers, Stuart Harness and Gavin Humphries, were charged with arson with intent to endanger life and remanded in custody.
27 May: Police were called to Brixton Mosque at 3am after a stone was thrown at the building, breaking a window.
27 May: Racist slogans were daubed on a security door, pavements and commercial bin in a back street in Burnley, alongside the initials of the English Defence League and British National Party.
27 May: John Parkin pleaded guilty at a special court to religiously aggravated disorderly behaviour after threatening to burn down a mosque in Rhyl, north Wales. Magistrates committed him in custody for sentencing by a Crown Court judge. During a previous incident near the mosque, when Parkin threatened to blow it up and shoot Muslims in the head, he told police he was a member of the English Defence League.
27 May: Two men were charged with racially aggravated public order offences arising from an English Defence League protest in Walsall the previous Saturday.
28 May: The Daily Mirror reported that a Northern Premier League footballer named Shaun Tuck was being investigated by police following Twitter comments in which he he urged people to riot and “bomb and gas every mosque in England” in revenge for Lee Rigby’s death, and called for Muslim children to beheaded, while also declaring his support for the English Defence League.
29 May: Edinburgh police confirmed that they were investigating racist comments posted on Twitter under the handle @edininfidel. These included “lets start to take revenge burn the mosques kill the paki bastards kids fist [sic] stop them breeding”. Foysol Choudhury, chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, told the press that he had heard reports of racist abuse on the streets too.
29 May: Mohammed Kozbar of the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London told the local paper that worshippers had been subjected to verbal abuse, being sworn at and called terrorists, and that this had been reported to the police.
29 May: David Lee appeared at Bury Magistrates’ Court charged over threats and racist abuse against Muslims posted during 22-23 May in response to the Woolwich murder. One comment read: “if just one person petrol bombed any local muslim business in their area, that would be the end of them in one day.” Lee pleaded guilty to sending messages of a grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character and was warned he could face jail.
Updates: Since this list was posted the following additional incidents have been reported:
30 May: A man was arrested outside the Huntingdon Islamic Education and Prayer Centre after police responded to a disturbance during which a window was smashed.
31 May: Racist graffiti was found on the wall of a Muslim prayer hall in Pleasington Cemetery in Blackburn. The words “Islam pedos”,”Islam murders” and “scum”, were accompanied by the letters “EDL”.
6 June: Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in London was destroyed in an arson attack thought to have been carried out by the EDL
See also: Woolwich Anti-Muslim Backlash Questioned by Islamophobes, Sheila Musaji http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/woolwich-backlash/0019837