Press Release by the Greater Manchester Council of Mosques.

The Manchester Muslim Community is deeply saddened to learn about the fire that devastated the Al Falah Islamic Centre in Manchester, last Sunday evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those that have been affected by this terrible event.

It is not clear of the cause of the fire at this stage, we understand there is an ongoing police investigation and it is being treated as a Hate Crime.

“It is deeply disturbing if this is a Hate incident. There is a real fear, that such Islamophobic attacks are rising and they are becoming more brazen. The attack on Al Falah Islamic Centre in Manchester is not just an attack on a Mosque, it is an attack on all Mosques, it is an attack on all places of worship and for this reason we should all be concerned. It is for this reason Manchester needs to stand together” said Mufti Helal, from the Oldham Mosques Council.

Intolerance and Hate is growing, only this week we saw the ugly face of racism in our midst as Raheem Sterling was abused at a high-profile Premier football match in our capital, a cosmopolitan city in 2018. Such racism has existed for decades in football, but we have seen a spike once again in such hate when we thought in fact we were making steps to stamp out racism.

This climate of hate and extremism has not developed in a vacuum it has clearly been nurtured and cultivated, or to use a modern phrase “Groomed”.

“We need to double our efforts in stamping out Islamophobia and bigoted behavior – this can never be acceptable. Tackling hatred and prejudice requires efforts from everyone, not just grass roots communities but also (arguably more importantly) from politicians and media outlets”, reported Qadir Chohan – chair of the Manchester Council of Mosques.

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.

12/12/2018

This statement is issued by the following organisations:
– Manchester Council of Mosques: (MCOM),
– Stockport Muslims,
– Bolton Council of Mosques (BCoM) Mosques,
– Oldham Mosques Council,
– Rochdale Council of Mosques.