Following the attack on New Zealand mosque on Friday, five mosques in Birmingham had their windows smashed with a sledgehammer overnight, calling for an anti-terror investigation and more police protection ahead of Friday prayers.
Seven windows and two doors were smashed in the late night attack at the Witton Road Islamic Centre in Witton.
According to the mosque’s Imam, the attack took place between 1.30am and 2am with West Midlands Police saying they were alerted to the attacks throughout the night.
The motives behind the late-night rampage are yet to be confirmed but the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit is also investigating.
The mosques attacked are on Albert Road, Birchfield Road, Slade Road, Broadway and Witton Road in the city.
Officers were called to the mosque on Birchfield Road at 2.32am before realising that the attack had happened earlier. At 3.14am, they were alerted to a similar attack at the mosque on Slade Road, Erdington.
Police had since then began patrols in areas with mosques and came across the other damaged mosques. Forensic officers are working to identify evidence, and CCTV is being examined.
Concerning this news, there are so many tweet reactions showing people’s fear of what is to come and calling for adequate security.
Labour party Councilor for the Bromford and Hodge Hill ward, Majid Mahmood, posted the footage of the damaged Witton.
He tweeted: ‘Unfortunately the Witton Road Islamic Centre was attacked overnight by an individual who used a sledgehammer to break the windows.
‘I said last week that Muslims were afraid after the terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
‘We need support in Brum.’
Sharafat Ali, 66, also said: ‘It’s terrible; the community is shocked because of what’s happened in New Zealand.
‘We’ve been here for 30 years. In the morning you get 40 worshippers for Morning Prayer, on Friday you get about two to three hundred.
‘This doesn’t happen in Aston.
‘Tomorrow is Friday prayers and I don’t know what’s going up happen.
‘We are asking the police to give us more security.’
Home Secretary Sajid Javid expresses his concern at the news of the attacks. He tweeted: ‘Deeply concerning and distressing to see number of mosques have been vandalised in Birmingham overnight. @WMPolice are investigating motive but let me be clear – hateful behaviour has absolutely no place in our society & will never be accepted.’
Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, tweeted: ‘The reports of attacks on mosques across Birmingham are truly terrible.
‘I have spoken with the Chief Constable & will be in constant contact with community leaders throughout the day.
‘I would urge all residents to remain calm & call Crime Stoppers with any info you may have.’
West Midlands Police Chief Constable Dave Thompson said: ‘Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurance and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer.
‘At the moment we don’t know the motive for last night’s attacks.
‘What I can say is that the force and the Counter Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.
‘At difficult times like this, it is incredibly important that everyone unites against those who seek to create discord, uncertainty and fear in our communities.’
John Cotton, Labour councillor for Glebe Farm and Tile Cross areas in the city, tweeted: ‘Appalled to see that Birmingham mosques have been the target of vandalism and violence overnight.
‘I’m working with @WMPolice & @BhamCityCouncil to ensure we find those responsible & support our Muslim communities.
‘These thugs do not speak for Birmingham & will not divide us.’
The Birmingham Council of Mosques in a statement, said: ‘As far as we can tell the Masajids were based around Handsworth/Aston and Witton.
‘We ask the masajids to be vigilant and do not hesitate in reporting any unusual/suspicious behaviour to the police immediately.
‘It is vital you report it so it can be logged.’