Toxteth Muslims fear Islamophobic hatred after bomb scare

Al Rahma Mosque in Toxteth, Liverpool

The Muslim community in the Liverpool area of Toxteth are fearing Islamophobic hatred after a bomb scare last night. 

The police and army bomb disposal team attended the scene at Al Rahma Mosque on Mulgrave Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, after a suspicious suitcase thought to be a bomb was left before Maghrib prayers.

Two officers from the Royal Logistics Corps destroyed the package in two controlled explosions with their remote controlled robot device at 11.15pm and 11.25pm last night.

Police had the area cordoned off until 1am when it was safe for residents, worshippers and pedestrians to return home.

The destroyed package was left in the mosque by a male described as a “black Brazilian,” as mosque leaders fear the incident was aimed at stirring up hatred.

Merseyside Police confirmed this morning that no explosive materials were found at the scene but investigations were ongoing.

Islamophobic hatred

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Community leaders, residents and committee members of Al Rahma Mosque said they feared the incident was aimed at stirring up “hatred” in the community.

Mosque administrator, Mohamed Mansur, said: “A man had come into the mosque with a metal suitcase and said he wanted to become a Muslim.

“Then he said ‘Before that I need to go home’ and ran off leaving his locked metal suitcase inside the mosque.”

Worshipers inside the mosque phoned the police immediately and the male was described as a “black Brazilian”.

Today police staff were going through CCTV footage of the incident, which showed the suspect was in the mosque for 15 minutes.

General Secretary of the Liverpool Muslim Society, Rahma Sani, said she believed it was some kind of prank or hoax.

She said: “I think it was someone just being stupid, wanting to arouse the community and add to the tension. It was just someone very ignorant and stupid wanting to stir up hatred in the community and within individuals.”

Ms Sani and other local residents confirmed to 5 Pillarz that the mosque had received numerous malicious phone calls in the aftermath of the death of British soldier Lee Rigby who was killed in Woolwich in May.

Worshiper at Al Rahma Mosque, Mohammed Abdul Jabbar told 5 Pillarz: “There is no doubt within the Muslim community of Toxteth that this stunt was carried out to cause fear. Other mosques have been attacked since the Woolwich incident, burnt to the ground and in Walsall the other week a bomb was found.”

Student at the University of Liverpool, Yaqub Khan said to 5 Pillarz: “I think its irrelevant whether the package was an explosive or not. The real issue is that Muslims in Britain have been living in fear since the Woolwich attack.

“Our women are not safe, our places of worship aren’t safe and I doubt the perpetrators of these attacks or pranks will be dealt with as suspected terrorists.”

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