Redbridge Islamic Centre was attacked by a group of thugs last night. Elderly worshippers were terrified when a group of six to seven young men tried to smash their way through the front door, breaking windows causing criminal damage to the building. The attack on the Eastern Avenue mosque took place at approximately 7.45pm, just before the final evening prayer.
The thugs shouted racist and islamophobic abuse as they tried to smash their way through to the main prayer hall of the mosque throwing bricks at worshippers and staff. The imam of the mosque sustained some injuries as a result of the attack, but thankfully is not serious. Neighbouring residential properties and cars were also damaged during the ensuing carnage.
The culprits were apprehended by some worshippers and passersby near Redbridge station until police arrived shortly after the attack. Six men are now under arrest. Forensic police from Ilford police station also attended the scene of the damage and collated forensic materials for their investigation. The mosque management have been liaising with the police and local authority and are pleased with their swift response.
The chairman of the mosque Abul Khayer Ali said, ‘This is a sad day. Redbridge is a strong and cohesive community with long standing record of unity and cohesion. We will not allow such callous attacks to create a wedge in the community. Rather, this will inspire the RIC to work harder to engage and work closely to reduce stigma and discrimination towards Muslims in the borough. We urge the community to stay calm and have been assured by the police and local authority that the criminals who have committed this attack will receive the full force of the law’.
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Redbridge Islamic Centre, 179 Eastern Avenue, Redbridge, Essex IG4 5AW.