Redbridge Muslims receive death threats and insults in Woolwich attack ‘backlash’

Muslims in Redbridge have been targeted with death threats, racial slurs and religious insults following the Woolwich attack, according a charity.

Tell MAMA, which measures anti-Muslim prejudice, received reports of four incidents in Redbridge at the end of May and beginning of June.

Days after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, members of a Redbridge mosque received repeated death threats from an anonymous caller.

A Tell MAMA spokesman said a young man who used the mosque phone as a contact number for his business picked up the phone to a man whispering the threats.

Within an hour the caller rang up to 10 times repeating the death threats to anyone who picked up.

Also in May, a Redbridge Twitter user reported online abuse in a YouTube video calling on “British people to rise up” against “evil Muslims” and “barbaric monsters”.

In June, a trainee teacher in Gants Hill was told to shave his beard off because he looked like a “Muslim terrorist” and a company director was repeatedly asked on the phone whether he was black or a terrorist.

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There were no reported anti-Muslim incidents in Redbridge in the two months before the Woolwich attack, which sparked a wave of anti-Islamic sentiment across the UK.

Mosques were attacked in Braintree, Gillingham, Grimsby and Muswell Hill and an Islamic school in south east London was set on fire.

Redbridge Police visited “vulnerable premises” in the following days to reassure the community and increased patrols.

Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of the Redbridge Islamic Centre and League of British Muslims had not heard of any anti-Muslim attacks in Redbridge and praised the borough’s community spirit.

He said: “If you look back in history there’s always a backlash but eventually it dies down.

“These attacks are horrible and I hope they were reported to the police but I think they are one-off events.

“Society as a whole is not like that and at the end of the day the community has to stand together.”

Drummer Rigby, 25, of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was killed near his army barracks in Woolwich, on May 22.

His funeral will be tomorrow (Friday) at Bury Parish Church in Lancashire.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, of Romford, and Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, are due to go on trial in November accused of Drummer Rigby’s murder.