London, July 11: Backlash and reprisal attacks against British Asians seem to be gaining momentum: three further attacks were reported on mosques and Islamic educational centres in east London and Bristol.
In the attack on the east London centre, a number of windows were smashed. Residents from the Muslim-dominated Brick Lane area there remained indoors for most of Sunday following the stone-throwing incident.
The fresh attacks come after the police was called in to investigate at least four arson attacks on mosques across the UK over the weekend. The arson attacks were reported from mosques in Leeds, Belvedere, Telford and Birkenhead.
In other areas of London, like Middlesex, a South Asian woman reported attempted arson after she noticed “liquid dripping down her door and smelt petrol” on the day of the terrorist attacks. The same day, five white men were arrested after bottles were thrown at the windows of a gurdwara in south London. In a separate incident, arson was reported at the home of an Asian family in Southall.
In a statement, the Metropolitan police said the force was keeping an open mind on the motive for the London attacks, but that many of the allegations involved threatening phone calls or racist abuse. A spokesman said “reassurance patrols” were being carried out in areas considered vulnerable. All major news channels here have been receiving calls from Asians, mostly Muslims, who have experienced either spitting or shoving incidents on the roads of London.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said there was a real sense of “fear and apprehension” among many Muslim communities, particularly in London. Senior Muslim figures met over the weekend to discuss how best to deal with the increasingly tense climate. Sikh community leaders have also asked the police for greater protection.
A spokesman for the association of chief police officers said on Sunday that there was an “increased level of concern” among the public in general, and the Muslim community in particular, since the bombings in London on Thursday, but stressed community relations on the whole had been “reassuringly calm”.
Acpo president Chris Fox said he believed “low level” incidents of violence had not been reported to the police. “We encourage everyone to report this type of obnoxious and dangerous behaviour, from whatever quarter, for full police investigation because we are determined there will be a very robust enforcement response to it. It is absolutely crucial that there should be no reaction against any section of the community. That would simply play into the hands of the murderers,” he said.