In a sign of the disastrous impact Islamophobic ideas can have, arsonists attempted to burn down a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent on Friday of last week.
Police are treating it as a “racist attack on a religious building”. A gas pipe was found that had been fed into the mosque from a neighbouring building.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident and released on bail.
The mosque is in Hanley—an area where the racist thugs of the English Defence League (EDL) ran riot in January this year, attacking shops, cars and Asian residents.
The British National Party (BNP) currently hold five seats on the local council, although they lost a number of seats at the May council elections. BNP councillors and candidates publicly opposed the building of the mosque.
The EDL is campaigning against the building of any new mosques in Britain. EDL supporters were filmed singing “Burn a mosque down” in Preston, Lancashire, during their protest on 27 November and EDL members have hailed the fire on web forums.
Gary McNally, chair of North Staffs Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (Norscarf), spoke at a 200 strong anti-cuts protest on Saturday.
To cheers, he condemned the attack and said that everyone must stand in solidarity with Stoke’s Muslim community.
BNP protest stopped
Around 250 protesters stopped a fascist British National Party (BNP) protest in Hull last Saturday, while anti-fascists in Liverpool shut down a BNP stall.
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) organised both events in opposition to the BNP.
In Hull the BNP planned to protest against the expansion of a local mosque.
But trade unionists, people from the local Asian community, students and anti-racist campaigners vastly outnumbered the BNP.
One Society Many Cultures conference this Saturday 11 December, Mary Ward House, 5/7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN, 10am to 6pm.