Redbridge mosque Islamophobically attacked copy
Worshippers at Redbridge Islamic Centre (RIC) were left petrified when a group of men tried to smash their way through the front door, breaking windows.
The attack on March 24 on the Eastern Avenue mosque took place at approximately 7.45pm, just before the Isha (night) prayer.
The men shouted racist and Islamophobic abuse as they tried to smash their way through to the main prayer hall throwing bricks at worshippers and staff.
The Mosque’s imam suffered a minor head injury but did not require medical attention. Neighbouring residential properties and cars were also damaged during the ensuing carnage.
The culprits were apprehended by some worshippers and passersby near Redbridge Station until police arrived shortly after the attack.
In a statement to The Muslim News Chair of RIC, Abul Khayer Ali, said, “This is a sad day. Redbridge is a strong and cohesive community with long standing record of unity and cohesion. We will not allow such callous attacks to create a wedge in the community. Rather, this will inspire the RIC to work harder to engage and work closely to reduce stigma and discrimination towards Muslims in the borough.”
He urged the community to stay calm and said they have been assured by the police and local authority that the “criminals who have committed this attack will receive the full force of the law.”
RIC is an affiliate member of the Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO). A spokesman for the Federation told The Muslim News they will encourage locals to report Islamophobic and racist incidents. “FORMO further requests the Muslim community to show tolerance and patience in these difficult times. We trust the authorities to ensure a thorough investigation is carried out and maximum charges against the offenders are pursued to avoid future unsavoury incidents for the common good.”
Essex men Matthew Stephenson, Daniel Leal, Elliot Jones, Rockylee Beale, Ryan Jones and a 15 year-old were charged with violent disorder and appeared in custody before Redbridge Magistrate’s Court on March 25.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told The Muslim News that although the men were not charged with a hate crime it may be recorded as one. “There can sometimes be anomalies with charges. For example if someone was charged with murder but it was clearly a racist attack the actual charge would still be murder. While the racial element would form part of the investigation and prosecution legally it would not be on the statute book.”
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