The world was still mourning the death of people killed in terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand when five mosques were targeted in apparently Islamophobic attacks in the UK.
Rabat – Police in Birmingham, England, are investigating apparent hate attacks on five mosques, including one whose windows were smashed with a sledgehammer late on Thursday night.
Officers had received alerts about the violence minutes between each attack.
Police officers and counterterrorism officials in charge of the investigation said a man used a sledgehammer to vandalize one of the mosques.
“The motive behind the attacks, which are being treated as linked, is yet to be established, but West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit are investigating,” police stated.
The Muslim community in the region fears for its safety in the worship places.
Yousef Zaman, the chairman of Masjid Faizul Islam mosque, one of the targeted mosques, told reporters: “There’s a fear factor now in that adults are saying they’re going to keep their children away from the mosque today because they’re worried that it’s not safe.”
Expressing shock and disgust at the attacks, he resolved to continue attending the mosque: “We’re not going to stop worship, we’re going to carry on as normal, we won’t let them win, we will defy them.”
Birmingham is home to a large Muslim community. In the UK 2011 Census, 21.8 percent of the Birmingham population declared they were Muslim.
Last Friday, March 15, 50 Muslims were killed in terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attacks shook the world but also united New Zealanders, who showed support and compassion toward the families of the victims.
Today, March 22, one week since the terror attack, thousands of New Zealanders rallied near Al Noor Mosque in mourning. Women, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, wore the hijab to show support for the Muslim community.
The country also broadcast the Friday call to prayer on national television and observed two minutes of silence.
Mosques have been the target of many hate and Islamophobic attacks across the world.
Earlier in March, the German Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) group attacked a mosque in the Netherlands by hanging a banner with an obscene message insulting the prophet next to a mannequin dressed in traditional Arab male dress with a bearded face covered in dark paint.
The Islamophobic attacks on Muslims and sacred places continue to spark condemnations.