Anti-terror police investigate London Islamic centre fire

Al Rahma Islamic Centre

The Police are investigating the cause of a fire which destroyed an Islamic community centre in London as “racially motivated” in connection to the Woolwich murder.

35 firefighters and six fire engines were called to Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Coppetts Road, Muswell Hill, when the fire broke out at around 3.15am.

Most of the roof of the two-storey building, which was being used as a mosque and educational centre collapsed.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police did not rule out the possibility that the fire was started deliberately in a “racially-motivated” attack. Reports are circulating that EDL graffiti was found on the walls of the mosque.

Al-Rahma Islamic Centre is at the heart of the Somalian community in Muswell Hill.

A spokesman for the Islamic centre and the Somalian community said: “The centre is not just used as a mosque, its a community centre that is used for educational purposes like weekend Arabic classes. Its not only used by Somalians, but the whole community.

“We are shocked and appalled by this act of deliberate malice. The Somalian community have serious concerns about rising tensions since the Woolwich murder.”

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There has been a significant increase in reports of attacks against Muslims since British soldier Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich.

British charity Faith Matters reports that 11 mosques have been targeted in the days after his death.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade said it took crews nearly an hour and a half to bring the fire in Muswell Hill under control.

No one was injured, although a woman living next door to the community centre was treated for shock by paramedics.

Two neighbouring properties were evacuated.

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