Statistics suggest that the UK’s Muslim community is facing increased discrimination and violence with more than 200 Islamaphobic incidents reported since last week.
A series of articles published in The Guardian yesterday paint a disturbing picture of the impact of last week’s barbaric murder in Woolwich, South East London.
The chairman of a mosque targeted by multiple petrol bombs, has described the attack as attempted murder. The incident in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, the most serious attack on Muslims since the killing of drummer Lee Rigby, comes at a time of increased activity by far-right groups such as the English Defence League.
A young family with two children were among a number of worshippers inside the building praying on Sunday night when three petrol bombs were understood to have been thrown through the entrance and fire exit.
Two men, aged 33 and 37, were arrested by police patrolling near the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre. Security around the mosque had been stepped up after a brick was thrown at it on Thursday.
The mosque's chairman, Diler Gharib, told the Grimsby Telegraph: "We had just finished our prayers and were discussing how to thank our neighbours for the support they have shown us over the past few days when we heard a bang and saw fire coming under the door.
"I grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out and then two more petrol bombs hit the fire escape and the bin so I had to put those out too."
The mosque's imam, Ahmad Sabik, said: "The whole community is really shaken up and there is damage to some of the walls on the inside of our mosque and to the outside of the building because one of the bombs was put in a rubbish bin in the car park."
CCTV footage showed three petrol bombs being thrown over the gate of the building.
Sabik said the attackers were ignorant about teachings of Islam adding that community spirit was holding up despite the assaults. "They obviously don't understand the reality of Islam and what we believe in. We are a religion of peace and we condemn the awful attack on that young man in Woolwich.
"Although we are devastated by both attacks here, there is a great sense of community around here and our spirits will not be broken. We have had countless people come to the mosque in the last few days to offer their support."
Show Racism the Red Card condemns this increase in Islamophobia in the strongest terms and urges people not to allow crude stereotyping and media spin to cloud rational and critical thought.
The actions of two individuals are not representative of the Islamic faith or the Muslim community and must not lead to violence and marginalisation against those ‘assumed’ to be Muslim.