Image Credit: abby chicken via flickr

Central Oxford Mosque issues statement on Islamophobic attack

A petrol can was reportedly thrown over one of Central Oxford Mosque’s walls on 28th October in what has been classified as a “hate crime” by police.

Central Oxford Mosque issued a statement about the attack, which was reposted by Shaista Aziz, ex-councillor for Oxford Labour, on Twitter. It describes the incident as an “Islamophobic and terrorist attack”, where a “lone terrorist” threw a red petrol can over the mosque’s gates with the words “IDF RULE” and “IDF” written on it, referring to the Israel Defence Forces. 

The mosque thanked Thames Valley Police for their immediate response. They also urged community members to “remain vigilant”, and said that the attack was likely to have been provoked by the display of Palestinian flags around the mosque which show the community’s “unwavering support” for the people of Palestine.

The statement expressed that this “attempt to scare [the community] will not work”, and that the mosque will “continue to exercise [its] democratic right and show solidarity with the innocent Palestinians being massacred indiscriminately and illegally”. 

Thames Valley Police reported no casualties from the incident since the can was empty, but expressed it “may be related to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza”.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Deputy Inspector James Holden-White said: “We are working with the mosque and local community to reassure them of their safety following this unacceptable incident, as well as conducting further patrols in the area”.

“Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all other racial and faith-based discrimination will not be tolerated in any form”.

Oxford Labour Leader Susan Brown and MP Anneliese Dodds said that they “stand with the Muslim community in Oxford in condemning this cowardly act”.

Earlier this month, the Oxford Four Mosque Forum (a group of four Oxford mosques) called upon these same politicians to distance themselves from Keir Starmer’s comments regarding Israel’s “right to defend itself”, which provoked the resignation of numerous Labour councillors in Oxford.

In response to these resignations, Susan Brown had said: “Labour fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself from the indefensible actions of Hamas, to rescue hostages and protect civilians in line with international law”.

The Four Mosques statement says: “We call on both Susan Brown and Anneliese Dodds to immediately distance themselves from Keir Starmer’s hateful words and call on them to demand Starmer apologises for his inhumanity towards the Palestinians”.

“Our message to Keir Starmer, Anneliese Dodds, Susan Brown and Labour councillors is do not take our community and our votes for granted”.

Image Credit: abby chicken via flickr