UK’s first-ever survey details attacks on mosques, Islamic bodies. United Kingdom’s London – According to a recently published UK survey, attacks with a religious motivation have occurred in almost 42% of mosques or Islamic institutions during the past three years.
The poll, the first of its kind, was conducted jointly by Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) and Muslim Census, two British Muslim organizations.
Vandalism was cited as the most frequent type of assault on mosques and other Islamic organizations, followed by theft or burglary (34%), with 83 percent reporting at least one attack each year.
UK’s first-ever survey details attacks on mosques, Islamic bodies. It also implied that over 17% of mosques had experienced violent abuse of employees or worshipers, with one mosque stating that a cleric had been stabbed in front of the building.
Mosques officials described receiving threats of physical violence on popular social media platforms and general abuse. In the report, they have expressed their frustrations and how increased Islamophobia hate crimes are taking toll on their wellbeing.
“We have witnessed individuals breaking windows, vandalising worshipers’ vehicles, and spraying racist graffiti on the mosque building,” an unidentified mosque official was quoted by the report as saying.
Nearly two-thirds of the 113 mosques who participated in the survey reported that the attacks harmed the wider community, with 9 percent reporting that their mosques or Islamic institutions were targeted frequently, at least every three months.
The report indicated that 15 percent of mosques saw an increase in attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Toufik Kacimi, the imam of Sainsbury Park mosque in north London, told Al Jazeera that religiously motivated attacks have increased over the years, with the latest incident happening weeks ago when a member of the public hurled dog faeces into the mosque.
“Just last Ramadan, one man punctured six cars belonging to worshipers; we also received threats phone calls and hatred letters,” he said.
Kacimi also said that some of the attackers pretend to be Muslim to gain access to the mosque and steal money and mobile phones from the donation box and people’s jackets.
“We can say that hate crimes against Muslims have sharply increased in the last three years, and it’s costing us more money; we have hired four security guards and deployed more CCTV cameras in the mosque premise and it’s a huge financial burden to us,” he said.