On Wednesday March 20th, four mosques and an all girls private Muslim school were vandalised in the early hours of the morning. It has not been confirmed yet but it is believed that the attacks are linked.
Police were called at 2:32AM to an incident of a man smashing windows with a hammer. The motive of the assailant (or assailants) are not yet confirmed however the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit are investigating.
These attacks come a week after the horrendous terrorist attacks in New Zealand when the sense of fear is heightened among the Muslim communities.
Incidents like these are why Muslims and Mosques have called for funds to secure mosques during these vulnerable times.
MINAB commends the government’s response to double the funds for the Places of Worship Security Fund in light of the New Zealand attacks. All places of worship should be safe and secure spaces for worshippers to perform their prayers.
With the demonstrable increased threat level against Mosques and Muslim places of worship, some of the funds should be ring fenced against political changes that may happen in the future.
Imam Qari Asim, Chair of MINAB said “It is extremely important that mosque staff, volunteers and worshippers are extra vigilant at these troubling and vulnerable times. Mosques and Islamic centres must continue to support each other and also work with police, local authorities and other relevant organisations to ensure that such attacks do not continue to happen in Britain, and that perpetrators are held accountable for their vile actions.”
TIPS FOR MOSQUES
⭕ Keep gates, doors and windows closed at time of use both during Salah and class times.
⭕ Inform imams, teachers, women, children and elderly etc to travel by car and not to walk alone on the streets especially during Maghrib, Isha and Fajr times. …
⭕ At night time especially after Isha Salah ask Taxi bases to provide a taxi rank visible prescence outside mosques as a deterrent and security till the following morning.
⭕ Organise overnight stay at the Masjid with visible presence of community volunteers or get paid security temporarily.
⭕ Improve external lighting and Install CCTV at least one (or some) with motion detectors (4mb £50-100 with voice projection £150) that send instant real time alert and messages to mobile phone to let you know of any unexpected movement or intrusion.
⭕ Organise a neighbourhood watch especially for night times.
⭕ Please keep a record of all incidents and promptly inform the Police, committee, service users and community of any incidents or any arising suspicious activity and issues.
⭕ Share safety and security updates & advice via text messages with all service users, staff and concerned neighbours.
🔻NOTE: There are about 2000 mosques in England & Wales. About 300 in Birmingham. So most places of worship are still considered to be safe spaces. But it’s better to be vigilant and careful.