Muslims under attack  at South Woodford Muslim Community Centre

MUSLIMS are being pelted with eggs and stones in anti-Islamic attacks on the South Woodford Muslim Community Centre seven years after it was destroyed in a petrol bomb attack.

"A few weeks ago there were people throwing eggs at children leaving the centre," said Qaiser Malik, secretary of the Qurani Murkuz Trust behind the centre in Mulberry Way.

"People have thrown eggs and stones from the flyover. They spit on our doors and have left ham and bacon on the doorstep. Apparently the same things are happening to people at bus stops in Woodford."

Redbridge is the ninth most diverse borough in the country with 28,487 Muslim residents, however racist Islamaphobic attacks are not uncommon and the Redbridge Racial Equality Council is addressing Islamaphobia in the community with a new myth-busting pack.

Dr Mohammmed Essam El-Din Fahim, head Imam and chairman of the South Woodford centre, said Islamic hatred has been stirred up by BNP leaflets being distributed in the area condemning Islam and the mosque.

David Landau, racist harassment co-ordinator at Racial Equality Council, who has compiled a myth-busting pack, said he was not surprised by recent attacks on the mosque.

"We do not know that this is to do with the BNP and it may very well be racist Islamaphobic behaviour that is happening anyway. These events happen because of the potency of these myths so it shows how important it is to have a pack like this."

The information pack contains impartial facts about Islam to help people challenge negative misconceptions about the religion, and is aimed at community organisations and young people.

Mr Landau said: "The image people tend to have if Islam is either of a fundamentalist religion or of moderate Islam with fundamentalists rocking the boat as if that is unique to Islam.

"Actually this runs through religions, it is not that Islam is an especially aggressive or fundamentalist faith, you get that in pretty much every religion."

Mr Malik said the pack shows a good effort to clear up common misconceptions, adding: "A lot of people don't have any knowledge of Islam and there is a lot of misconception and ignorance."


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