British Muslims Shocked by Violent Assault on Worshippers in Wales

5th June 2002

The Muslim Council of Britain today voiced its grave concern at last Sunday’s attack on worshippers outside a mosque in Dyfed, Wales. The incident led to the tragic death of Mr Mohammed Ashraf, Treasurer of the Mosque. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased.

“This was a cowardly and unprovoked assault on Muslim worshippers attending the evening prayers,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB. Putting this tragic incident in the context of a more generalised upsurge in Islamophobia, Mr Sacranie added that “since, September 11, there has been an increase in number of attacks on Muslims. The climate of racism and Islamophobia which breeds such hatred is fuelled in part by unjustified and irresponsible comments directed against the Muslim community.” Mr Sacranie urged the media and public figures to exercise fairness and sensitivity in reference to British Muslims.

Mr Sacranie stressed that this incident had once again demonstrated the need for a law against religious discrimination. “It is clear that there is a greater need than ever before to deal with incitement to religious hatred and religious discrimination. Discrimination helps create alienation and hinders integration which is what all of us should be working for. We are pleased that the police were able to act immediately and charges have been brought against the perpetrators of this heinous crime and it is now time for the government take action.”

The MCB has repeatedly called on the media and politicians to exercise greater judgement and sensitivity regarding the language they use on issues of immigration and asylum. The Secretary-General has been in touch with the family members of the deceased and officials of the Mosque in Dyfed.