Islamic centre in Scotland graffitied with anti-Muslim abuse

Kirkcaldy Islamic Centre (photo taken by Fife Today)

Islamophobic graffiti was sprayed on an Islamic centre in Scotland the night before the first day of Ramadan.

Extra police patrols were sent to Kirkcaldy Islamic Centre after it was targeted in a religiously-aggravated hate crime.

Hours before the start of Ramadan, anti-Islamic graffiti which read “All Muslims will perish by JC” was spray painted on walls around the Islamic centre on St Mary’s Road.

Five vehicles belonging to members of the centre were also targeted on Monday night. Crosses were painted on number plates, windows and on bonnets.

Police in Kirkcaldy dispatched extra patrols in the area and have spoken to the management of the Islamic centre about improving their security.

Chairman of the Kirkcaldy Islamic Centre, Mohammed Aslan said he did not believe it had been planned to coincide with the start of Ramadan. He said: “This is the first time anything like this has happened to us in more than five years we have been in Kirkcaldy, and hopefully it won’t happen again. It is not very nice and will cost hundreds of pounds to fix.”

The graffiti has been painted over as hundreds of worshippers attended the centre for Tharaweeh prayers to mark the start of Ramadan.

Farhan Gour, 19, from Kirkcaldy said: “This is a terrible thing to happen, particularly when we are all so excited about the start of Ramadan.

“We have been worshipping here for five years and we don’t do anyone any harm. It is horrible that some people think this way.”

Naeem Khalid, co-ordinator of Fairness, Race Awareness and Equality (FRAE) said: “This centre is used as a hub by many members of the Islamic community, not just in Kirkcaldy but also Leven and Methil, and it does lots of work in the wider local community with organisations such as women’s groups and the Scouts to raise awareness.

“This was a callous act at a very sensitive time, and we are hoping that it was just an isolated incident. Police have put on extra patrols and carried out door-to-door enquiries in the area as a proactive measure which is good.

‘‘For the next 30 days there will be prayer events held five times a day and people worshipping don’t want to have to worry about their vehicles being vandalised while they are in the centre.”

Chief inspector, Gordon Mitchell said: “This is a terrible crime and I appeal to anyone who has any information about it to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. People can also speak to officers who are patrolling the area.’’

Woolwich

Since the murder of British soldier, Lee Rigby in Woolwich on May 22, Islamophobic attacks have increased across Britain.

Numerous mosques and Islamic centres have been attacked and even been targeted with bomb scares.

A mosque in Braintree, Essex and Gillingham, Kent was attacked on the evening of the Woolwich murder.

A mosque in Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre was fire bombed within days of the of the Woolwich incident. Al Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill, North London was torched to the ground with “EDL” painted on its walls.

Darul Uloom in Chislehurst, Greater London was also set on fire weeks after the Woolwich attack.

A bomb was left at Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Walsall in June as well as a bomb scare at Al Rahma Mosque in Toxteth, Liverpool two weeks ago.

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