Islamophobic graffiti was found next to a swastika symbol on a wall in Newcastle Upon-Tyne.
The graffiti which read “f*ck Islam” next to a Nazi symbol was found on Monday on a street in Sandyford, east of Newcastle centre.
Labour councillor for Elswick, Dipu Ahad, said that the graffiti was flagged up to him by concerned residents.
He claimed it was an extreme symptom of the Islamophobia and anti-Semitism which he believes has increased over recent years.
Cllr Ahad told the Newcastle Chronicle: “Just last week we were celebrating Freedom City in Newcastle and talking about race and progress, but this shows we’ve got a long way to go.
“This isn’t just kids messing about, this is somebody who knows they’re using the Nazi sign, they know what they are talking about and it’s serious.
“The biggest problem we see is hate against religions, you can’t deny the fact that these are people who are targeting religions.
“People talk about race, but we have to look at anti-Semitism and hate for Muslims, it’s not exactly the same as racism, and it has to be looked at in a different way.”
Cllr Ahad says he knows many people who have been targeted as a result of their religion, some of whom are too afraid to tell the police.
He said: “The hostility the Muslim community faces is definitely on the rise, we see it every day, there are a lot of people come to me and say they’ve been attacked, spit on, had headscarves ripped off – I always encourage them to report it but sometimes people are too scared to.
“[The graffiti is] disgusting, but it’s also a learning experience – we should be disgusted but we also need to talk about what’s going on behind this, as a city we need to talk about why this happened.
“We need to be looking at how to educate people about this sort of hatred.”
Police has opened an investigation into the incident.
Northumbria Police said in a statement: “Officers have attended the scene and enquiries are ongoing. A request has been made to the council for the graffiti to be removed.”
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