Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Teenagers rip Quran's in attack on British Islamic centre

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime

Quran's are thrown to the floor and walls damaged. Credit: Bahr Academy
Quran's are thrown to the floor and walls damaged. Credit: Bahr Academy

Six teenagers were arrested by British police suspected of ripping up copies of the Qu’ran and vandalising an Islamic centre in Newcastle.

Windows were smashes and walls were graffitied at Bahr Academy in Newcastle, situated at a set of a former British children’s television programme.

Police say they are treating the incident as a hate crime.

An 18-year-old woman, two 16-year-old boys, two 14-year-old boys and a 14-year-old girl have been arrested and remained in police custody.

“This is a very distressing incident for members of the Bahr Academy, particularly as it is the second break-in this year,” said Alan Davison, a neighbourhood inspector.

“Although there is not the same racist graffiti as we saw in the first incident, we are treating this as a hate crime. We are aware of the impact incidents of this nature can have on the community and I want to be clear that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable.”

The incident comes as anti-Muslim hate crimes rise dramatically off the back of the New Zealand mosque attacks.

Vandals attacked 5 mosques in the British city of Birmingham just five days earlier. Counter terrorism police were called on March 21 after windows in neighbouring mosques were smashed.

The charity Tell Mama, which records and measures anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK, said hate crimes against Muslims had soared 593 percent since the New Zealand terrorist attack. Ninety-five incidents were reported to the charity between 15 March, the day of the New Zealand atrocity, and midnight on 21 March.

Muslim leaders have backed calls for more security at UK mosques amid fears the New Zealand shooting could spark copycat terror attacks in the UK.

Updated: March 26, 2019 08:54 PM

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