Press Release

Mosque arson attack should be treated as terrorism

Muslims are shocked and deeply troubled at the arson attack of the Nasfat Islamic centre last Sunday evening. Our thoughts and prayers go to the members and congregation of the Mosque. We thank God that there were no injuries or fatalities. The communities across Manchester are standing with them.

It is noted that the police are treating this as a ‘hate crime. However we urge the police to treat this act as an act of terrorism to find out whether those who committed this act did so for the ‘purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause’.

There is a real fear, that such Islamophobic attacks are rising and they are becoming more brazen. Nasfat Islamic centre have reported some horrible attacks over the years, including pigs head being thrown into the Mosque, vandalism and criminal damage of the Mosque building as well as verbal abuse to those attending for prayer.

We need to double our efforts in stamping out Islamophobia. Bigoted behaviour can never be acceptable. Tackling hatred and prejudice requires efforts from all communities and we all need to do more in addressing the rhetoric of hate that is spewed by some politicians and some media outlets and individuals with a Far Right Ultra-Nationalist agenda

This reported attack is not simply an attack on a mosque, it is an attack on all of us. Like we have in so many cases in the past, the Greater Manchester communities will stand together.

We call on anyone with information to provide that to the police so the perpetrators are brought to swift justice we welcome the increased patrols around Mosques in recent weeks and weeks ahead. We must all remain vigilant.

In the true spirit of Islam and as Greater Mancunians we hope that this remains a safe and prosperous place for all people to live in.

Qadir Chohan from the Manchester Council of Mosques said : “The arson attack of the Nasfat Islamic Centre in Manchester should not only be a great concern to the Muslim community but should be a great concern to all of us. If we don’t speak out or if we turn a blind eye against those that commit these awful crimes, those that spread hate will only increase their grasp on the communities around us. We need to stamp this out now and we urge the police and the security services around us to tackle this terrorism”

Ibrahim Kala, chief officer of BCom added : “We have seen the rise of hate and terror attacks in recent months – and we need to realise that this can come from many different sources. We need to tackle the causes of such crimes – it is clear that some of them are fanned by inflammatory media articles and some politician’s dialogue”

Shazad Sadiq of Stockport Muslims said : “ Attacking a place of worship is such a cowardly act. These criminals have hearts that are full of hate, but we will know that they will never win. We need to bring these cowards to justice as soon as possible.”

Dobir Miah of RCOM added : “ We need to stamp out Islamophobia. We are grateful to the police and council for their support, but it is a duty upon each and every one of us – to stop hatred in it’s tracks.”

Mufti Helal Mahmood of Oldham Mosques Council said, ‘’After visiting the mosque yesterday and hearing from the community these attacks seem to happen often. The community needs to be reassured that they will be protected and allowed to worship peacefully in their mosque’’.

This statement is issued by the following organisations:

Manchester Council of Mosques: MCOM
Bolton Council of Mosques: BCoM
Rochdale Council of Mosques: RCM
Stockport Muslims
Oldham Mosque Council