Socialist Worker

Anti-racists organise after third fire attack on mosque in Manchester

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2563

Stand Up To Racism activists have organised to show solidarity with victims of racist attacks

Stand Up To Racism activists have organised to show solidarity with victims of racist attacks (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A mosque used mainly by Nigerians in Manchester was set ablaze last Sunday after a four-year campaign of racist harassment.

The Nasfat Islamic Centre was in the Newton Heath area of Manchester.

Its secretary Monsurat Adebanjo-Aremu said, “Almost everything we had is gone. It’s been burned to ashes.”

She told the local press this was the third such fire incident in three years, and that two pig’s heads have been thrown inside the centre during worship. A minibus was set on fire in 2014.

Adebanjo-Aremu said they feel “unwelcome in the community”.

“It’s quite unfortunate that we are part of the community and somebody’s decided to do this to us,” she said.

Police are treating it as a hate crime. They believe someone forced open a window and put an unknown flammable substance inside.

Faith

Local Labour councillor John Flanagan called it “an attack not just on the Muslim faith but on all of us”.

He said that he had been inundated with offers to help, including of a space for Friday prayers.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) activists met representatives of the mosque on Monday to discuss organising a response.

Nahella Ashraf of Manchester SUTR told Socialist Worker, “This is another example of racists getting confidence from taking to the streets.

“We must come out and stand in solidarity with the victims of racist attacks.

“And we need to stop politicians fuelling Islamophobia, and make sure that racism does not become normalised.”


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