Islamophobic attacks in the wake of terrorist
attacks on USA
The Muslim News, Issue 149, Friday 28 September
200110 Rajab 1420
Ahmed Versi and Umi Hawa Hussein
In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the
USA, many UK Muslims are being victimised and harassed. The Muslim
News is documenting the reports of attacks on British Muslims.
Hundreds of incidents are being reported. Many are reluctant to
come forward due to a climate of fear prevailing in the Muslim
The harassment may take the form of verbal abuse
and threats to physical assaults and damage to mosques.
If you have encountered any such attack, please
do inform us, so that we may document it and have a clear picture
of what is happening nationwide. The information will be treated
in confidence and anonymity will be maintained.
Please telephone The Muslim News on: 020 7608
2822 or e-mail: [email protected]
List of attacks are pasted on our website www.muslimnews.co.uk
In Swindon, Wiltshire, at 8:15pm on 14 September,
a Muslim woman aged 19 in Hijab, was attacked by two unknown white
males. She was walking home from her temporary job in Graham Street.
The victim was repeatedly hit around the head
with a baseball bat. She believes it was a metal baseball bat
that was used to hit her. The victim was released from hospital
after being treated for bruising.
The attack is being treated as racially motivated
and the police are not ruling out the possibility of a link with
the incident in the US, although the victim believes it is a result
No arrests have been made; the police are appealing
In Dover, Kent, an Afghan asylum seeker was
assaulted while walking.
On Thursday 13 September at 8:30pm, a Mosque
in Milton Rd, Southend, Essex, was victim to a graffiti attack
on their walls. On Friday 14 September, at 2am bricks were thrown
which smashed the windows: "We live upstairs and were woken
up by the smashing of the windows. We were devastated, that a
holy place was desecrated", said Siddiqah Awan.
Thursday 13 September, 6:30pm when Muslim ladies
in Hijab were coming back from work, in Epsom, Surrey, young kids
threw sandwiches at her. She didn't say anything, but her non-Muslim
friends told them off.
In Twickenham, an Afghan taxi driver, Hamidullah
Gharwal (28), was attacked, on 16 September at about 3am. He was
left paralysed from the neck down.
On the 17 September, 3 men aged 25, presumed
white were arrested on suspicion of GBH.
They are all bailed to return on the 25 September
to the Southwest London Police. Attackers shouted racial abuse
at him; he was hit over the head with a bottle and kicked while
he lay on the ground.
The motive of the incident is unsure, as it
started off regarding a dispute on the mini cab fare, from Acton
to Twickenham. However, comments were made about the US incident,
but police have not been able to confirm what was said.
In Neasden, on Thursday 13 September, an Egyptian
lady in Hijab was driving her car. A white man stopped her under
the pretext of needing directions, she opened the window, he then
threw eggs at her.
In Central London on Friday 14 September, a
Lebanese woman in Hijab was punched in the face, she fell down
and was injured severely. She is recovering in St Mary's hospital.
In a State Comprehensive Boys School in East
Finchley on the day of the attack, a television was on in the
6th form common room. As an instant reaction, Asian/Arab looking
people were all called "Terrorists", by white pupils,
they also muttered; "Bastards, we'll get them."
In Bushey, Hertfordshire, two Muslim women in
Hijab were walking on Wednesday 12 September in the morning, when
a car passed and white occupants shouted "you Muslims are
murderers", a second car passed, with similar comments being
Tuesday 11 September, a woman went to Doctor's
surgery, in the Harrow area, she was told by the receptionist
in front of everyone, "you Muslims have done this".
A 10-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl overheard
a conversation between some dinner ladies at a state Primary School
in Pinner on Wednesday 12 September. The dialogue consisted of
"Muslims are bad as they are killing people". When the
children relayed this to their parents that evening, their mother
was faced with the task of trying to explain to them that this
is not the case.
Britain's first state-funded Islamic School:
Islamia Primary School, Brent, was forced to close, after threatening
telephone calls, since the incident in the USA on Tuesday 11 September.
Two other schools on the site, a secondary school and sixth-form
college for girls and in total around 500 pupils have been kept
at home since Wednesday 12 September. The school reopened on Monday
The school secretary wearing a Hijab was verbally
abused while out shopping.
A mother walking from the Islamia School to
the primary school encountered a car that slowed down and what
she described as "a man dressed in a suit" shouted,
"we'll get you, one by one."
In Tower Hamlets, East London, on Monday 17
September, group of girls in Hijab, were spat on by some white
The Islamic Cultural Centre, (London, Regents
Park), has been receiving threatening e-mails reading, "you
go home", "we'll get you", and "we'll kill
you". The underground car park was closed and 24-hour police
protection has been put in place. On Thursday 13 September, at
3pm there was a bomb threat, which led to the evacuation of the
The week commencing 10 September, a Health Fair
was organised by the Health Authority in the mosque. On Wednesday
12 September, only 50% of the 33 stallholders, who were all non-Muslim,
turned up, on Thursday 13 September, only ¼ turned up. The
reason given by the non-Muslims was that they were afraid to attend,
as they believed the mosque would be attacked.
On Friday 14 September at the Roman Catholic
School, St Alloisivs, in Islington, a 13-year-old boy was verbally
abused, "Your family has done this, what happened in America."
The boy complained to a teacher, who subsequently punished the
At Highbury Girl's School in Islington, white
classmates insulted a 15-year-old girl in Hijab.
The Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, which
also houses a mosque, closed as usual on Sunday 16 September at
9:30pm. On Monday morning when the Centre opened they found a
window had been smashed with a bottle of alcohol. The incident
was reported to Islington police. The bottle remained intact and
was taken by the police for prints.
The Centre runs training classes for women in
IT and dressmaking etc. with a usual turnout of around 35 sisters.
Only seven turned up on Tuesday 18 September, and those that came,
wanted to leave early. Fadi Itani, the Director said, "The
women were scared they would be assaulted as they were wearing
Thursday 13 September at 11pm, a letter was
put through the letterbox of the Tooting Islamic Centre (a committee
meeting was in progress); the letter read, "Shut this shop
or we will kill", signed "UK BA". A motorcyclist
dressed in black delivered it. Tooting police are now dealing
with the incident. At 1:20am, the Secretary, Aniz Jussab received
a phone call at home from the police, informing him that the Islamic
centre's windows had been broken. Five different windows were
broken, air rifle pellets were found, so it is possible an air
rifle/gun of some sort was used. On Sunday evening, 16 September,
graffiti was daubed on the side of the mosque that read "Murdering
Aniz Jussab said that they received formal reports
of two cases of women having their Hijab snatched off their head
and being spat on and having beer cans thrown at them.
One of the e-mails received by The Muslim News
related an incident in London's underground. On Friday 14 September,
"One of my work colleagues was on her was home on Wednesday
12 September. She was on the tube, Central Line heading eastbound
from Marble Arch. There was a gentleman on the tube who looked
as if he was from the Middle East as well as a Muslim, ie beard
and clothes. The majority of passengers on the train were being
very hostile and intimidating, constantly staring and muttering
at or about the gentleman. The gentleman initially faced the hostility
but eventually turned his head down and disembarked from the train."
In South Shields, graffiti was daubed on a wall
urging people to "Avenge USAKill a Muslim now."
(see page 3).
In the same area, a 20-year-old Bangladeshi
man suffered a broken jaw after being beaten and kicked by a gang
of white youths.
Jamia Alavia Islamic Centre, on Bromwich Street
in Haugh area of Bolton, Lancashire, was set alight with a petrol
bomb. Two or three petrol bombs thrown against the building, luckily
as they had grills, no one was hurt. Three huge windows shattered,
20 people, including children, were praying Isha Prayers, at 9:10pm,
Monday 17 September. Police have increased patrol around the mosques.
Faruq Mangera, Secretary of Bolton Council of Mosques, was surprised
and commented: "We have had good relationship with the white
community and we never expected this. There was no increased police
security before this." When The Muslim News told him that
the Home Office had informed police nationwide to increase patrols,
he said, "The police never approached me". The Manchester
police have not apprehended anyone.
The Shah Jalaal mosque in Didsbury, Manchester,
on Monday 17 September had a firebomb through the letterbox; it
resulted with the carpet being burned. The fire brigade came,
as someone reported it.
On Sunday 16 September, Kwik-save in Levenshulme
was graffitied with the following: "Death to all MuslimsAllah
is scum" (see page 3 for photograph).
In Manchester, on Wednesday 12 September, a
lady teacher in Hijab was on a train, someone said; "Do you
think you will live until 9pm tonight?".
Two weeks ago in Manchester, a Muslim woman
was asked to remove her Hijab by her employer, she refused saying,
"I am a Muslim and I will not remove my Hijab". However,
being a diligent and honest employee, she worked for two hours
unpaid overtime before leaving.
Again in Manchester, white youths set firecrackers
on random cars in parking lots of major supermarkets such as Asda.
In Blackpool, on Wednesday 12 September, a man
wearing a cap and a beard, was verbally abused "You scum,
In Peterborough a Sikh man in a newsagent was
being mistaken for a Muslim, and was verbally abused by white
In Milton Keynes, on Wednesday 12 September,
a Head teacher in a school assembly responded to a white student
who said the Israelis were responsible, by saying that it was
the Muslims that were to blame. Parents complained to the Head
teacher and the next day, a special assembly was called where
he apologised, and said; "one should not blame the Muslim
community for attacks in the USA".
Mosques in Birmingham have received abusive
telephone calls, and one had excrement through the letterbox.
Two Asian Councillors were attacked and injured,
on 11:30pm on Saturday 15 September. Coun Chaman Lal, a Sikh,
and a colleague who wishes not to be named were attacked in Cape
Hill, Smethwick, Birmingham. They left a pub in Cape Hill with
another friend and were waiting at a bus stop. A man ran up to
them shouting "Are you Muslim, I want to kill all Muslims."
The man is white and believed to be Irish. Coun Lal (Lab Soho)
was struck in the stomach; the unnamed councillor was hit in the
face, knocking out some teeth. Coun Lal said: "I am completely
against the attacks in the USA and believe terrorism should be
wiped out, but it is not right for people to attack innocent people
In Wolverhampton, there are reports of Sikhs
Glasgow's central mosque has brought in private
security guards to patrol the perimeter of the building after
windows were smashed. The Mosque has also been receiving bomb
A 20-year-old girl on Wednesday 12 September at 6pm,
in Longsight, Glasgow, was going to her sister's house by bus.
During the journey, a white man sitting behind her said "you
Muslim bastard" and then he hit her over the head with a
glass Tizer bottle. Nobody came to her rescue; she remained quiet
after the incident, as she was too frightened and alighted at
"I was in a daze and didn't know what to
do, the driver didn't do anything even though he saw what had
happened. The bus was full. It is a sad thing because of anti-Muslim
feeling that no one came to my rescue," she told The Muslim
On Tuesday 11 September, 10:30pm two mosques,
in Livingstone, West Lothian and in Bathgate had bricks thrown
at them. At the Livingstone mosque, 15 minutes prior to the bricks
bring thrown through the window, they had a phone call twice swearing
at them and saying, "You Islamic people are bastards. We
are going to get you". Imam Abdul Rashid told The Muslim
News that he telephoned the police, but the police arrived too
late after the bricks were thrown.
In South Belfast on Friday 14 September, there
was an attack on an Islamic Centre. Three bricks were thrown at
the mosque in Wellington Park in the south of the city, smashing
two windows. No one was injured. Sinn Fein has condemned the incident.
The person in charge does not think the attack
is racially motivated, and said it was not unusual for windows
to get broken.
Welsh Somalians, observing Hijab, suffered verbal
abuse from men in Cardiff streets, "Go Home".
South Wales Police said there had been an increase
in the number of racist incidents, though gave no details. Welsh
Secretary Paul Murphy and Assembly Finance Minister Edwina Hart
said these attacks were no more justified than the acts of terrorism.
12 September, City Road, Cardiff, in a Computer
Shop which belonged to an Iranian
Whites came into the shop, and said, "Go
back to your country".
15 September, Swansea mosque and Islamic community
centre, St Helen's Rd, a brick was thrown through the window in
the early hours. "Very lucky that no-one was hurt and no-one
was injured, police have increased their patrols", said Director
of Swansea Bay Racial Equality Council Tahar Idris. He also gave
an example of a 10 year old Muslim girl whose Hijab was ripped
off by an adult outside school gates, on Wednesday 19 September.
In Swansea, Muslim children are being taunted
In Swansea town centre, on Thursday 13 September,
a lady in Hijab was verbally abused by an old British man who
said, "you cruel Muslims." She did not reply, however
commented to The Muslim News that she was horrified for being
blamed for something she did not do and that she condemns.
A Muslim mother and her children were allegedly
chased into their home by a gang calling them terrorists and threatening
to bomb the property, it was claimed on 20 September.
Businessman Foyzul Bari, 47, said his family
were "shocked and shaken" after the gang of up to eight
men allegedly threatened to slit his wife's throat. Mr Bari rushed
back to his home, in Swansea, south Wales, fearing his family
were victims of a revenge attack. My wife was literally under
siege at home. Four men from a group of about eight were outside
screaming "terrorist", he said.
"They threatened to cut my wife's throat
and bomb our home. My eldest son called the police and then called
me. The police were there when I got home but all they did is
speak with the men in question for about five minutes. They drove
off bibbing their horn. When I asked them why they had not taken
any action they said they would have had to arrest my son as well,
which is ridiculous. As a Muslim I am used to some racism in the
street but this is a case of the police turning a blind eye. I
intend to complain in the strongest terms."
Inspector Bill John of Swansea police confirmed
that the incident and a complaint about the police response were
Netherlandsa mosque and two classrooms
at an Islamic school in Nijmegen were set alight.
At Zwolle, arsonists attacked a mosque.
Copenhagen28 year old Dane jailed for
four weeks after he was arrested while about to hurl petrol bombs
at a mosque.
Danish town of Dragoera Pizzeria owned
by Kurdish immigrants was attacked.
Polanda mosque in Gdansk was stoned by
In Delhi on 19 September, Hindus attacked a
historic mosque in north Indian city of Bagalpur. Doors and windows
of the mosque were destroyed. During the attack, valuables from
inside the mosque were also stolen.
A school bus full of Muslim children was stoned
The Muslim Judicial Council's (MJC) offices
in Cape Town were set alight in an attack which the MJC believed
could be linked to "global anti-Muslim sentiment since the
terror attacks in New York and Washington in the United States
last week," Sapa, the South African news agency, reported
on 19 September.
The report said petrol was poured over the double
wooden doors of the MJC offices and set alight. The caretaker,
who slept at the back of the building, was woken by the smell
of the fire and extinguished it, the report added. Police forensic
experts visited the scene and the bomb squad examined the building
as a precaution. Sedick said the MJC had received a number of
hate phone calls from people who had described Muslims as "pigs"
who should "get out of our country".