Mosque burns down in London in suspicious circumstances

LONDON Wed Jun 5, 2013 10:00pm BST

1 of 5. Firemen attend the scene of a fire at the Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in north London, June 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall

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LONDON (Reuters) - A mosque burned down in Britain in a suspected arson attack on Wednesday, intensifying fears of a backlash against Muslims after a British soldier was killed on a London street last month.

Police said they were treating the mosque fire as suspicious and that the letters "EDL" had been found scrawled on the side of the building. EDL is the acronym of the English Defence League (EDL), a far-right group that has held several protests in London and elsewhere since the murder.

The EDL denied any involvement.

"Exactly when and where that graffiti was placed is a focal point of the inquiry," Chief Superintendent Adrian Usher said in televised remarks.

The Islamic centre in the Muswell Hill neighbourhood of north London was mainly used by the local Somali community. Fire brigades were called to the scene overnight after reports of an explosion. No one was hurt.

Last week a mosque in the northeastern city of Grimsby was pelted by petrol bombs and similar attacks were reported in the south of England after the May 22 murder of Lee Rigby, a serving soldier.

Police, politicians and religious leaders have called for calm and unity after the murder. Rigby's family has appealed against any reprisals.

"This is the latest in a series of attacks on Muslim institutions since the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby," Farooq Murad, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said in a statement.

"The British Muslim community came out in droves to condemn this murder, and it is despicable that Muslims should be held to account and suffer in this way."

(Reporting By Maria Golovnina; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (2)
England13 wrote:
“”The British Muslim community came out in droves to condemn this murder, and it is despicable that Muslims should be held to account and suffer in this way.”"
This is absolute rubbish! Hardly a murmur was heard from the Muslim community. In fact many prominent Muslims (eg Anjem Choudary) condoned the beheading!

Jun 05, 2013 10:58pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Wvandamme wrote:
Cameron and Hague are arming jihadist in Syria and the wider Middle East. Pay back time I would say. Maybe the UK government can send machetes to these Syrian rebels. It’s good for beheadings in Syria as they do there and for killings in France and the UK. And after that the EDL and other gangs can reply in kind. Great politicians Cameron and Hague.

Jun 06, 2013 9:13pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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