MP Wes Streeting condemns ‘anti-Muslim’ attack on Woodford Green Islamic centre

Wes Streeting MP at a Redbridge Islamic Centre open day earlier this year, with Vaseem Ahmed. Both M

Wes Streeting MP at a Redbridge Islamic Centre open day earlier this year, with Vaseem Ahmed. Both Mr Streeting and the Centre's leader Bashir Chaudhry have condemned the attack on the Woodford Muslim Cultural Centre on Monday. - Credit: Archant

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting has spoken out against vandalism on a Woodford Green faith centre, saying it appears “to be fuelled by anti-Muslim hatred”.

The outside of the Woodford Muslim Cultural Centre with a boarded up window, where a brick was repor

The outside of the Woodford Muslim Cultural Centre with a boarded up window, where a brick was reportedly thrown through on Monday night. - Credit: Archant

Police are investigating after the Woodford Muslim Cultural Centre, in Snakes Lane East, had a brick thrown through its window late on Monday night.

Previous incidents against the centre include the word ‘bacon’ reportedly being daubed on the door, and a note saying: “A mosque is not wanted in Woodford. The rivers of blood are close to overflowing.”

Mr Streeting said: “There can be no excuses for this appalling act of vandalism and I hope that the police investigation finds those responsible so that they can face the full force of the law.

“This attack follows other reported incidents at the centre that appear to have been fuelled by anti-Muslim hatred.

The message on the outside of the retail unit at 114-116 Snakes Lane East, in November. Photo credit

The message on the outside of the retail unit at 114-116 Snakes Lane East, in November. Photo credit: TellMamaUK - Credit: Archant


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“The harmony of our diverse community is something that is widely cherished and I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of residents will be appalled by these incidents.”

The Labour MP said he was organising a meeting with the Metropolitan Police, anti-Muslim violence awareness group Tell MAMA and local community groups.

In a statement online Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “There is no excuse for violence, in any form, and this, alongside reports of other anti-Muslim incidents at the centre are truly despicable.

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“They are pure and simply hate crimes - mindless acts of violence and threats against a centre because of its religion.”

The centre has been unpopular with residents as it acrimoniously gained planning permission in July, after previously being rejected, following an appeal decision by an independent planning inspector.

Leader of the opposition Cllr Paul Canal (Con, Bridge) said: “The appeal decision drove a coach and horses through our planning policy.

“I objected to the centre because it took away the chance of a retail unit. I oppose violence in this form and all forms.”

Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the Redbridge Islamic Centre, told the Recorder the attack happened due to “the fear of the unknown”,

He added: “tf they talk to each other and learn from each other, not throw bricks, they will create a harmonious community.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Redbridge CID on 101.

Do you think there should be an Islamic Centre in Woodford Green? Email ralph.blackburn@archant.co.uk.

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