Mosques in Stockton Vandalised with Racist Graffiti23 Jun 2020
The Muslim community in Stockton have been left “scared to walk down the street” after a number of mosques in the area were vandalised with racist graffiti. A community centre was also targeted in a similar attack over the weekend.
Police have since launched an investigation into the incidents and have appealed to the public for more information. They also say that they have increased their patrols in the area to prevent similar incidents taking place.
Three mosques and a community centre were vandalised
The incidents are believed to have taken place over the course of Friday. The attackers targeted the Farooq E Azam Mosque and Islamic Centre in Bowesfield Lane, as well as two Jamia al-Bilal mosques in Dennison Street and Northcote Street.
The attackers sprayed red paint over the walls and windows of the buildings, as well as scrawling the letters “KKK”, the infamous American white supremacist group.
Police reported that a community hall in Dennison Street was also targeted with similar graffiti on Friday.
“Scared to walk down the street”
Communities in Stockton, both Muslim and non-Muslim reacted to the incident with outrage and concern over the increasingly-visible acts of racism.
One Muslim woman said that attacks such as these made her “scared to walk down the street, knowing there is this hatred” is in her community.
Meanwhile, another poster who identified themselves as an atheist said that the incident made them sick to their stomach.
For its part, police in Stockton said that they would pursue the matter. “Hate crime incidents such as this will not be tolerated,” said Superintendent Sharon Cooney, appealing to public for more information.
Subsequently on Monday, the Stockton Neighbourhood Policing Team announced that they are carrying out increased patrols.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, quoting event number 98264,” the police spokesperson said.