The MCB conveys its sympathy and prayers for the well being of the Muslim community in Luton after the recent malicious arson attack on a local Islamic centre, Masjid al-Ghurabaa, which the police say has caused considerable damage. This latest attack on a Muslim place of worship and a community centre that includes educational facilities for children and women is another sad reminder of the clear and present reality of Islamophobia in Britain today.
The MCB commends the Bedfordshire Police for its swift action so far and hopes that they will apprehend the perpetrators swiftly and bring them to justice. The suspected arson attack follows a number of threats the mosque has received from suspected far right groups in recent weeks. We would also implore all such centres, mosques, businesses and schools that cater for Muslims to re-evaluate their security measures in cooperation with the police to safeguard against possible attacks.
Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari added:
`Although the investigation is still ongoing into this shocking crime, we cannot ignore the clear correlation between the rise of Islamophobia with the rise of extremist far right groups in Britain. With the forthcoming European Parliamentary Elections on June 4th, we would like to remind all fellow citizens who value a safe and harmonious Britain to exercise their vote. Our complacency may unwittingly open the doors to racist and xenophobic parties like the BNP, who only fuel hatred and extremism in our country, to slip into power.'
RELATED LINKS The Luton Council of Mosques Press Release Luton Muslim representative's statement, BBC