Select Committee on Religious Offences in England and Wales Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum from The Muslim News



  On Friday 28 September at just before 1.00 am, two petrol bombs were thrown at the Bedash restaurant on Nevendon Road, Wickford, Essex. The premises were double-glazed and so prevented most of the devices entering the restaurant, which resulted in only minor fire damage to the exterior of the restaurant and to the front window. There were five people upstairs, four Muslims and one Christian, at the time of the arson attack. Nixon Alemro who was one of them said, "My first reaction was shock and fear, and I was so worried that if we had been asleep what could have happened." He also added, "We have been open for 14 years and we have had no problems at all." Business was slightly affected the next day as people that had made bookings cancelled them through fear.

  On Thursday 13 September at 8.30 pm, a Mosque in Milton Road, Southend, Essex, was victim to a graffiti attack on their walls. On Friday 14 September at 2.00 am 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 6.30 pm when a Muslim lady in Hijab was 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 Swindon, Wiltshire, at 8.15 pm 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 of this. No arrests have been made; the police are appealing for witnesses.


  Mosques in Birmingham have received abusive telephone calls, and one had excrement through the letterbox.

  Two Asian Councillors were attacked and injured, on 11.30 pm 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 at will."

  In Wolverhampton, there are reports of Sikhs being harassed.


  At 1.15 am on Wednesday 3 October, smoke was spotted coming from the Pakistani Association in Annandale Street, Leith, Edinburgh. The Lothian and Borders police and fire brigade were alerted. The small blaze was extinguished and the root of the attack was found to be a petrol bomb. In the morning, the centre was quiet and showed no signs of the event that had taken place in the previous night, although a police officer remained on guard outside. The mosque has been in Annandale Street for three and a half years and has never been attacked before. The police are treating the attack as racially motivated and as suspicious, however, they are not at this stage linking it to the recent terrorist attacks in America.

  Following enquiries, on Wednesday 10 October, a 16 year old white youth was arrested and charged with the attack the previous night. He was due in Edinburgh Sherriff Court on Thursday 11 October.

  Azar Ghafoor a Committee Member said, "we were horrified and in disbelief of what happened. Our centre has been here in Annendale Street for three years now and we have had no problems."

  On Saturday 22 September, it was discovered, at the Cambusnethan Cemetery in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, that 18 Muslim headstone memorials had been damaged. The North Lanarkshire Council's Cemeteries Registrar, Ken Forbes, said, "The council condemns any acts of vandalism, especially one of this nature which is both cowardly and insensitive." "Immediately following the incident, security at the cemetery was stepped up and on our request, Strathclyde Police also increased the number of patrols in the area."

  In relation to the reason for the attack, the Police were not sure at this stage whether it was a racially motivated attack. No one has been apprehended.

  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 threats.

  A 20-year old girl on Wednesday 12 September at 6.00 pm, 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 her stop.

  "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 News.

  On Tuesday 11 September, 10.30 pm two mosques, in Livingstone, West Lothian and in Bathgate had bricks thrown as them. At the Livingstone mosque, 15 minutes prior to the bricks being 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.


  A Lebanese woman wearing Hijab in Central London was punched in the face. She fell and is said to have been hospitalised as a result of her injuries.

  An Egyptian woman driver in Neasden was stopped by a man who appeared to want directions. As she lowered the window the man threw eggs at her.

  An Afghani taxi driver, Hamidullah Gharwal, 28, who is said to have been involved in an argument over the fare with his passengers, three white men and a woman, who had made remarks about the American attacks. At about 3.00 am Mr Gharwall was set upon and brutally beaten by the three men, leaving him paralysed from the neck down. Three 25-year old men were arrested and bailed.

  An Egyptian journalist working for Al-Ahram, Egyptian Daily, was at the American Embassy in London. He was interviewing people in the queue for signing the condolence book. A man and lady there almost tried to beat him up; he called the police, who then asked him to leave. He was upset about this, the police should have protected him and allowed him to continue with his work.

  Three pharmacy students in Hijab, Juman, Huda and Zohra were on their way home from university. They were coming out of West Harrow underground station at 5.00 pm on 5 October. On their way down the stairs, they noticed a man going down, he turned around and gave them a dirty look. They walked passed him and he stayed behind them, as he was following them, he started swearing, "You pakis, I'll cut you", and he gestured to his throat. The girls were very frightened and ran away.

  In Wembley, Middlesex, Mohammed, a 15 year old student at Brondesbury College for boys in Brent was returning from a prayer at 9.30 pm, on 13 September. He was in the car with his mother and three sisters who were in Hijab. They stopped at the traffic lights near Asda, a car pulled up at the lights next to them, the driver started swearing and said, "Bomb America? I'm going to bomb your fucking guts".

  16 September, Harrow and Wealdstone a seven year old boy was cleaning his dad's car and two white girls who were neighbours, 12 and 13 year olds, told him "you are a terrorist, you killed those people in America". The young kid replied, "No I am not, no I am not" and he went inside and told his mum. She went and asked these girls why they were making those comments. They replied they were just joking.

  On 19 September, Fatma, a Muslim woman and a friend both in Hijab, were doing their shopping at Costco, Hertfordshire at 12.30 pm. A white lady with her husband started looking at them, and said, "You Arabs, you go back to your country, you idiots, get out of this shop" she replied "This is not your shop". They followed her down every aisle while shopping, until she had paid at the checkout. The lady's husband was telling her to keep quiet, but she was not listening.

  Fatma was feeling very harassed, she said, "I thought this would never happen to me, I was shocked. We just ignored her." She did not want to go to the shop again.

  Fatma, who works in Finchley, related the storey to her colleagues. They suggested to her not to wear her Hijab as they were worried about her.

  A senior member of the mosque at 181 London Road, Morden, Surrey, was verbally threatened, "I am going to blow up this mosque, because you have blown up the buildings in New York. Then you can go to heaven like your suicide bombers."

  This area has a significant amount of BNP acitivity. Muqbool Ahmed Khan of the mosque informed us that a gentleman returned the following day to submit an apology. We were informed of this attack: 27 September 2001.

  On 18 October Sharmeen was sitting outside a cafe in Gloucester Road, London, with two other Muslim sisters in Hijab. It was 6.00 pm when a drunk, homeless man came up to them and started shouting, saying things like, "Islam is evil" and "you're evil". The girls didn't know what to do so they just sat there hoping he would go away but he kept at it. Then, an old English lady (about 80 years old) who was sitting two tables away from them told him to leave them alone, as they were just girls. He then proceeded to abuse her, saying, "you **** off." She got up and went up to him and again told him to go away, and said, "Islam is as good a religion as any other, you leave them alone" and she prodded him gently. He kept shouting at her but eventually walked off.

  Sharmeen commented "I don't know what could have happened if she hadn't come to our rescue. It was really sad to see that it was not `men' who helped us but this old lady who was then aplolgising to us about him."

  Race-hate crime in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has increased by 72 per cent this September compared to figures from September 2000. Of the 100 reported crimes, 17 were marked as being related to the events of 11 September. The rise in figures was somewhat expected, as following the atrocities in the US, a vigorous campaign was in place urging members of the minority ethnic community in Tower Hamlets and other majority ethnic communities to report any incidents of hate crime. From these figures, it would be difficult to determine whether there had been an actual increase in race hate crime or whether the rate had remained similar to previous years it is just that people are now reporting the crimes where before they had not. Under-recorded

  It is worth noting that this year's figures for October have fallen 22 per cent in comparison to October 2000. The Borough commander Chief Superintendent Rose Fitzpatrick said, "we take all reports of race crime seriously and investigate any allegation to us in a robust and sensitive way."

  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 shouted.

  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 thereatening 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 re-opened on Monday 17 September. 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, a group of girls in Hijab, were spat on by some white men.

  The Islamic Cultural Centre, (London, Regents Park), has been receiving threatening e-mails reading, "you go home", 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 3.00 pm there was a bomb threat, which led to the evacuation of the mosque.

  The week commencing 10 September, a Health Fair was organised by the Health Authority in the mosque. On Wednesday 12 September, only 50 per cent of the 33 stallholders, who were all non-Muslim, turned up, on Thursday 13 September, only a quarter 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 boys.

  Sixth form students of Asian and Arab/European parentage at the state Coomprehensive Boys School in East Finchley, London were accused by white pupils of being "terrorists" and they murmured "get those bastards".

At Highbury Girls' 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 9:30 pm. 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 Hijab".

  Thursday 13 September at 11.00 pm, a letter was put through the letterbox of the Tooting Islamic Centre ( a commitee 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 1:20 am, 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 Bastards". 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 way 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 hostitliy but eventually turned his head down and disembarked from the train.


  In South Shields, the Al-Azhar mosque was damaged by fire on Saturday 22 September. A passer by called the police. Only one door was damaged, as the rest of the doors were guarded with metal. "The Police have now installed CCTV", The Muslim News was told by Abdul Ahmed from the mosque. This incident followed the graffiti attack on a nearby wall "Avenge USA—kill a Muslim now."

  Jamia Alavia Islamic Centre, on Bromwich Street in the 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, included children, were praying Isha Prayers, at 9:10 pm, 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 a 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 firebrigade came, as someone reported it.

  On Sunday 16 September, Kwik-save in Levenshulme was graffitied with the following: "Death to all Muslims—Allah is scum".

  In Manchester, on Wednesday 12 September, a lady teacher in Hijab was on a train, someone said; "Do you think you will live until 9.00 pm 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 firecarckers 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, you terrorist"


  In Peterborough a Sikh man in a newsagent was being mistaken for a Muslim, and was verbally abused by white customers.

  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 communtiy for attacks in the USA".


  In 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 the window to get broken.


  The South Wales Police have noted and increase in racist attacks since 11 September. On 5 October, the South Wales Police Chief Constable Tony Burden said there had been a clear increase in hate crimes in the region after the suicide attacks. He added that 15 people have been arrested regarding such incidents and crimes included attacks on mosques, verbal abuse in the street and hate mail. Nearly 180 racist episodes were reported to the police in September this year, compared with 128 in the same month last year.

  Chief Constable Burden said: "The rise in the number of attacks is due to the events in America and since 11 September, 60 attacks have in some way been connected with the US terrorist atrocities," he said. "They include assaults on mosques, and attacks on individuals, abusive language and hate mail." We have followed every one of those incidents and 15 people have been arrested across the force area for racist behaviour."

  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 shop, and said, "Go back to your country"

  On 15 September, Swansea mosque and Islamic community centre, in St Helen's Rd, had a brick thrown through their 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 were taunted in schools.

  In Swansea tonwn 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 The Muslim News that she was horrified for being blamed for something she did not do and that she condenms.

A Muslim mother and her children were alledgedly 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 was being investigated.


  Ten pigs' heads were left outside a mosque in Essex. [The Guardian, 22 September 2001].

  The windows of a new Sikh temple in Swindon were smashed in what local police described as a suspected act of vengeance after 11 September. [Swindon Evening Advertiser, 20 September 2001].

  In Birmingham, a woman who had a newpaper picture of the destruction of the WTC towers brandished in her face, was attacked at a bus stop two days later by a skinhead who threw beer in her face. [FAIR: 14 September 2001].

  On September 15th in Birmingham City Centre, a group of young Muslim men were attacked by a group of seven men who wielded beer bottles at them. A fight broke out for about five minutes, after which a smaller group made a second attack. The police arrived 10 minutes after the attack had finished, and were reluctant to help and take statements. They told the people watching to go away, rather than questioning them as witnesses. The police eventually took two statements, and one of the victims had to demand to give a statement. The most severely injured was a Muslim convert with a beard and turban. [FAIR].

  A gang of men armed with knives, baseball bats, CS spray and an imitation firearm were arrested in south London after police received intelligence that they were about to attack a mosque. [Evening standard, 2 October 2001].

  By 7:30, On 11 September, the Muslim Council of Britain had received hate mails with references `Islamic violence'. [MCB newsleter, September 2001].

  Toilets in Heathrow airport were daubed with offensive graffiti, which read, "Death to Allah", "Muslims scum", and "Kill Muslims". Saudi Arabian airline staffs are suspected to be the targets of this grafitti. [The Observer, 30 September 2001].

  Sayed Ali, who lost a daughter in the WTC attacks, is being targeted by racists in London, "I have received a bad reaction in the street—gnashes of teeth, bad looks. but they don't know I have lost a daughter—". [Evening standard, 29 September 2001].

  A Muslim woman in Harrow was harassed by a taxi driver, who stopped his taxi in the street, and shouted "You'll pay for what you've done" [FAIR, 14 September 2001].

  A Muslim convert wearing a head-scarf was verbally abused by two other women, whilst walking her child in his buggy. One of the tormentors said, "Fucking Muslims, I wish I could shoot them all" [FAIR: 13 September 2001].

  A woman was chased out of a newsagent in the Elephant and Castle area in London by a group of men, whilst shouting verbal abuse and attempting to rip off her head scarf. [FAIR: 13 September 2001].

  Tooting Islamic centre received phone calldeath threats on 13 September. Since then several windows have been smashed with air pistols. Offensive graffiti was daubed on the mosque walls. [FAIR: 13 September 2001].

  Balaham Mosque reported an incident where two Muslim women were assaulted on Tooting High Street. They were spat at and had their scarves pulled off. [FAIR: 14 September 2001].

  There was an arson attack on a maisonette in London. The incident took place after midnight after the telephone, power and alarm cable appear to have been deliberately cut. No one was hurt, but it is believed the block was targeted because it mainly housed Muslim families. After the attack religious hate messages were written in the blackened walls. The resident of the maisonette believes the attacks were linked to September the 11th. [FAIR: 14 September 2001].

  An elderly man and his daughter were chased by a group of young men near their home on an estate in Poplar, East London. The men were chanting verbal abuse and pelting them with missiles. [FAIR: 15 September 2001].

  Two sisters of south Asian descent were attacked by three girls outside Limehouse station, at about 4.00 pm. One of the sisters was pulled to the ground kicked repeatedly and punched. Several people passed by without intervening. The girl suffered a fractured nose and bruising. [FAIR: 15 September 2001].

  A young Muslim man with a beard was forced to walk out of a bakery in Wood Green, where he works, after receiveing verbal abuse from his colleagues. Statements such as "How's your brother—Osama Bin Laden . . . We're going to get you Islamic bastards . . . you're a bloody terrorist, I bet you've got a bomb on you're body", were directed at him. [FAIR: 17 September 2001].

  Abusive and threatening messages were left on the answering machine of the Sound Vision Islamic shop. The incident was reported to the police. [FAIR: 16 September 2001].

  A mother collecting her child from the Avenue school in North West London, which is a Muslim school, was approached by two men shouting abuse at her. She had to sit and wait in the car whilst the men carried on shouting from outside, until they left her. [FAIR: 19 September 2001].

  A woman wearing Hijab was harassed by four or five young Asian men, whilst driving on Newham highway. They were driving in a car beside her and spat at her car. They swerved in front of her, slowing down then speeding up. They continued to follow her as she turned off the dual carriageway and only desisted when they observed her on the phone. [FAIR].

  An Asian restaurant worker in Doncaster was assaulted, and he and his colleagues were verbally abused. [Sheffield Star: 18 September 2001].

  120 Chinese and 34 Muslim gravestones were knocked down in Everton cemetry, Liverpool.[ Liverpool Daily Post: 21 September 2001].

  Asylum seekers in Liverpool clain they are suffering more physical assaults and verbal abuse since the terrorist attacks in Amercia. A meeting of Asylum Link Mersyside heard refugees say there has been an increase in violence against them and that they have growing fears about living in the city. Reza Mirdamadi, an Iranian who has lived in Liverpool for many years and who works with Asylum Link Merseyside, described attacks in Everton in recent weeks. He said: "I have been shown bruises and cuts. One lad said he was chased by eight youths armed with baseball bats and knives." He added: "Asylum seekers walking around on their own now say they are even more afraid of being harassed. One said to me: `I am blessed. I have managed to dodge the sticks and stones'. Another Iranian, Lili Shereif, who is waiting to hear the outcome of her application for refugee status, said that she had made many friends in the region who had shown her kindness, but that she was becoming less confident when talking about her Islamic faith. She said: "I feel the situation has got worse. there were people outside Walton prison the other week with banners saying: `How many more Bin Ladens are we going to let in?' I am more fightened now to reveal that I am a Muslim from Iran. "The meeting, held at the Friends Meeting House in Paradise Street, was designed to dispel misconceptions about refugees and illustrate the difficulties they face in their daily lives. Highlighted during the meeting was the percieved harshness of the voucher system and the plight of asylum seekers detained at Walton prison while they wait for the outcome of applications for refugee status. Chris Newsam, co-ordinator of Asylum Link Merseyside, organised the meeting. He said: "I want to turn around the negative images of asylum seekers and get people to think about them as assets to the community". The charity recently recieved £27,000 form the Home Office Challenge Fund to set up a `mentor system' to support asylum seekers in Liverpool. Superintendent Steve Smith, head of Merseyside police community relations said: "We have not reported a rise in the number of race related incidents since the attacks in the US, but we are continuing to monitor communities very closely and provide support and guidance wherever necessary." Liverpool Echo].


  A 20-year-old Bangladeshi man suffered a broken jaw after being beaten and kicked by a gang of white youths.

  On Friday 21 September, at 6:30 pm, in Manchester, a 20-year-old woman was assualted on a Metrolink Tram near Heaton Park Station. A man also on the tram approached her and struck her with a blunt object causing her an injury that required hospital treatment. Police are checking CCTV and liaising with public transport. The suspect is a white male with short blonde hair in an orange jacket. "You want killing for what you did in America." This comment was quoted in The Guardian on 28 September, however is not confirmed with the Police. Police do not believe the attack is racially motivated as they are still making investigations.

  A Muslim home and business in Lorraine Street, Hull East Yorkshire was destroyed by an explosion in the early hours of Monday, 19 November. Seheraz and Neelam Ghaforr, and their two children are very lucky that they were out for the night as the explosion and fire ravaged the building, destroying all shop stock and family belongings. As a result, they have been forced to move to Bradford, West Yorkshire, to stay with family. The Police are treating the attack as racially motivated.

  The Muslim Welfare house in Finsbury Park, North London, received a lot of hate-mail, at the frequency of about five or six letters a day. The letters started coming straight after the events in September all the way until mid-December that year when they stopped. They mainly consisted of newspaper cuttings of the events, including one which read, "when we've finished with Afghanistan, you will be next".

  A week earlier, a mosque in Limehouse was burnt down and completely devastated by an arson attack. Due to such incidents Imams of the other mosques have been worried and afraid of attacks on their mosques. The Imam of a mosque in Stepney Green said, "People are starting to lose their confidence and are stopping from coming here."

  The Muslim comedienne, Shazia Mirza, whose act focuses on aspects such as life as a Muslim woman, has cancelled her appearances because she is afraid to go on stage.

  In West Drayton, Middlesex, a house had an object thrown through the window. The incident, which took place on Saturday 22 September at 9:17 pm, was not classified as an emergency call, so the police did not attend the scene; a telephone report was taken instead.

  In a separate incident, Zohra was with a friend at South Kingston underground station, on Wednesday 3 October. It was 3.00 pm and on their way into the station, their ticket got stuck in the machine. An older man in a suit spat at them, his face was very red and he said, "Muslims are always getting in my way, I hope they kill you and get you all."

  Due to recent attacks, there has been a panic-buying of bullet proof vests amongst Asian people in Edinburgh. Army-standard vests are being bought in the capital, with one shopkeeper describing customers as very "scared". The Leith army store on Brunswick place, which last sold a vest more than two years ago, has taken eight orders in just 10 days, after selling out its limited stock.

  The executive announced that it would make 1 million pounds available for improvement in security for the site of ethnic community worship. Police forces are likely to carry out crime prevention surveys, to identify the measures, CCTV systems for example, are required.

  Posters have been put up in Edinburgh threatening Asian people with death if they refuse to leave the country. The posters blame "immigrants" for the attacks and also read: "All Asians be careful. I have spent last night witnessing what you did. There is no way you can live in my country any longer. I am warning you to leave now. This is racial hatred not out of ignorance. You are a threat to me. If you remain here you will die".

  Offensive chain letters have been sent to Muslim Pupils at a Primary school in Glasgow. Glasgow City Council has notified education officers, who have alerted the Islamic Centre and Central Mosque, who have in turn warned Muslim communities to ignore such letters.

  Farhana Syed, 17-year-old student at Islamia School, was walking to an Arabic lesson in East Hackney with her younger sister when two black teenage boys on cycles pushed them and hurled "islamophobic abuse", calling them names like "Bin Laden". They grabbed her by the neck, took her glasses and smashed a glass bottle over her head. She suffered minor injuries and is now afraid to go out alone.

  In February, there was an arson attack on Coventry Cross Mosque in Bromley-By-Bow, where 15 adults and 30 children were attending Arabic lessons at the time. Now one was hurt and the damage was minimal.

  Idara Taleem-ul-quran offices in Temple Park Crescent, Polwarth, Edinburgh, had their windows smashed by racist vandals on the 7th November. Lothian and Borders police believe three men were involved. Hammers and steeel bars were believed to have been used, with £800 work of damage caused. Four weeks earlier the incident of smaller windows being smashed in the offices, coincided with the start of the British and US attacks on Afghanistan. Centre director, Abdul Hamid expressed his concerns, that as a charity, they lacked funds to repair the inficted damage, and added that these attacks fuelled the safety concerns of local Muslims.

  Lothian and Borders Police reported increased incidents of racial hatred, where one third of racial attacks can be linked to 11 September attacks. Incidents such as stone throwing, vandalism, verbal abuse and graffiti attacks have increased. An Asian woman was abused "Just for being Asian".

  A man was arrested in an Indian restaurant for shouting abuse at staff. An Asian family had graffiti daubed on the door of their home in Wester Hailes.

  A 16-year-old boy has been arrested for planting a firebomb in a mosque in Annadale Street in Edinburgh. An Asian run shop in the Firhall area of the city has also been the target of a fire-raising attack.

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