19 Mar 2004
On the morning of Thursday 18th March, at least 40 Muslim graves were found to have been desecrated at Charlton cemetery in Plumstead, South East London.
This act of vandalism is being treated as a faith hate crime by the Metropolitan Police. Detective Inspector Karl Amos of the Greenwich Community Safety Unit said: “We utterly deplore the sentiments behind this crime as well as the crime itself and are seeking to reassure the faith leaders in our community that this sort of crime will not be tolerated.”
Resentment towards Muslims in the UK has once again increased after the Madrid bombings. The MCB is in regular contact with the Metropolitan Police over this issue.
“We are urging the Metropolitan Police to investigate this matter thoroughly and find the perpetrators so that such appalling incidents and Islamophobic crimes do not recur. This is vital to prevent community relations deteriorating further,” said Mr Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The MCB welcomes the statement of support today from the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, pledging to work with London’s Muslims to combat Islamophobia.
At the same time, the MCB urges the media and senior government officials to show greater responsibility in their use of language when talking about terrorism. The association of Islam with terror is unacceptable and is clearly contributing towards a backlash against Muslim communities.[Ends]
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