Socialist Worker

New fears of racist terror after bomb set off in Walsall mosque

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2359

Hundreds of people rallied in solidarity after the Muswell Hill attack last month

Hundreds of people rallied in solidarity after the Muswell Hill attack last month (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A homemade bomb went off outside the Aisha Mosque and Islamic Centre in Walsall in the West Midlands on Friday of last week.

Local residents heard a loud bang during the night. Luckily no one was injured and the building only suffered minimal damage.

Army bomb disposal experts arrived on Saturday and immediately evacuated about 150 people from homes in the surrounding area.

It was unclear whether the bomb was intended to trigger a larger device or only partially detonated as Socialist Worker went to press.

“People are worried,” a youth worker at the Islamic centre told Socialist Worker. “It’s really troubling to hear that there was a bomb outside a place they go to regularly.”

West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit is taking part in the investigation. 

But police said, “There is no evidence or intelligence to suggest that this is an act of terrorism.”

“It’s shocking they are calling this a ‘hate crime’,” the youth worker said. “It shows a complete lack of support from the police. They choose when to use the word ‘terror’ and ‘hate crime’ as they please. 

“It was a terror attack. It was designed to frighten and victimise. It is Islamophobia.”

The police response contrasts starkly with the treatment of six Muslim men who planned to bomb a racist English Defence League (EDL) rally last year. They were denounced as “Muslim terrorists” and were jailed for up to 19 and a half years each.

Local EDL members gloated after an apparent arson attack burned the Bravanese community centre and mosque in Muswell Hill, north London, earlier this month.

EDL Walsall/Bloxwich Division posted on Facebook, “London mosques are burning down…let’s go out and burn some more.”

More than 500 people turned out in Muswell Hill in support of the mosque users. 

The youth worker said there had been “lots of messages of solidarity expressed to us online” in the wake of the Walsall bomb. 

Black Country Unite Against Fascism has produced a unity statement. 

Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the NUT union, read out a solidarity message outside the mosque on Monday of this week.

Stop EDL in London UAF counter demonstration this Saturday 29 June against an EDL march. Assemble Speakers’ Corner, 11am uaf.org.uk

Unite Against Fascism reports

Forty people attended the launch of Thanet UAF last week. We discussed the EDL threat and the rise of Ukip—which won seven out of eight local council seats. Ten fascists gathered outside failed to intimidate those inside the hall. 

John Flaig

We launched the Griffin Must Go campaign in Lancaster at a well-received meeting with Green and Labour party councillors.

Audrey Glover

UAF’s rally in Oxford last week attracted 50 people. Speakers included Shahzad Sarwar of the Central Mosque and Kate Douglas of the PCS.

Nick Evans


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.