UK

Woolwich Attack Provokes Sharp Increase In Anti-Muslim Incidents

25/05/2013 09:10 BST | Updated 25/05/2013 09:21 BST
PA
A member of the Mosque in Gillingham, Kent, boards up a smashed window after a man remains in police custody on suspicion of racially-aggravated criminal damage.

The murder of soldier Lee Rigby has provoked a backlash of anger across the UK, including the attacking of mosques, racial abuse and comments made on social media.

The killing has prompted a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents, according to the organisation Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism.

Before the attack about four to eight cases a day were reported to its helpline.

However the group said about 150 incidents had been reported in the last few days, including attacks on mosques.

woolwich edl

The EDL took a small demonstration to Woolwich on Wednesday night

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, told BBC Radio Five Live: "What's really concerning is the spread of these incidents. They're coming in from right across the country.

"Secondly, some of them are quite aggressive very focused, very aggressive attacks.

"And thirdly, there also seems to be significant online activity...suggesting co-ordination of incidents and attacks against institutions or places where Muslims congregate."

Mughal said there had been a number of reports of Muslim females saying they were afraid to go out at night.

It comes after charity Tell Mama told The Huffington Post UK of a similar spike in incidents since the attack on Wednesday.

"Most of them have been abuse against Muslims though they also range to threats to kill, murder and attack mosques," Fiyaz Mughal of Tell Mama told The Huffington Post UK.

"One of them was an incident at Braintree mosque where an individual tried to enter the mosque saying ‘Where is your Allah now,’ and two knives and a smoke bomb were found on him."

A 22-year-old man will appear before magistrates in Lincoln on Saturday charged with making malicious comments on Facebook.

Benjamin Flatters, from the city, was arrested on Thursday after complaints were made to Lincolnshire Police about comments made on the social networking site which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said.

A second man was visited by officers and warned about his activity on social media, the spokesman added.

The charge comes after two men were arrested and released on bail for making alleged offensive comments on Twitter about the murder.

Complaints were made to Avon and Somerset Police about remarks that appeared on the social networking website, which were allegedly of a racist or anti-religious nature.

A 23-year-old and a 22-year-old, both from Bristol, were held under the Public Order Act on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred.

Detective Inspector Ed Yaxley of Avon and Somerset Police said: "These comments were directed against a section of our community. Comments such as these are completely unacceptable and only cause more harm to our community in Bristol.

"People should stop and think about what they say on social media before making statements as the consequences could be serious."

Two men will also appear at Thames Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour over an incident in an east London fast food restaurant on Thursday.

Labourer Toni Latcal, 32, and plasterer Eugen-Aurelian Eugen-Beredei, 34, both from London, were arrested following the incident at 9.15pm on Thursday.

Latcal was charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour and causing criminal damage, while Eugen-Beredei was charged with religiously aggravated threatening behaviour.