The Birmingham Council of Mosques said that at least five mosques had been damaged.
BIRMINGHAM — A man with a sledgehammer allegedly vandalised at least four mosques in Birmingham early on Thursday morning, BBC reported.
Police said they had received reports of a man “smashing windows with the tool” on Birchfield Road at 2:30am, according to BBC. Approximately 45 minutes after the first report, police officers were informed of a similar incident taking place on Slade Road, Erdington.
West Midlands Police said the incidents were being linked to attacks on mosques in Birmingham’s Aston and Perry Bar areas, the report said.
The Birmingham Council of Mosques said that at least five mosques had been damaged. “We were deeply horrified to hear a number of mosques were vandalised during the early hours of this morning. Birmingham’s mosques are a place of worship, serenity and a source of peace and tranquillity. We are appalled by such acts of hate/terror,” the council’s statement quoted by BBC said.
Police have yet to ascertain the motive of the suspect. The Counter-Terrorism Unit is investigating the incident.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it was “deeply concerning and distressing to see a number of mosques have been vandalised in Birmingham overnight”.
Deeply concerning & distressing to see number of mosques have been vandalised in Birmingham overnight. @WMPolice are investigating motive but let me be clear – hateful behaviour has absolutely no place in our society & will never be accepted https://t.co/G9EFerOt9W
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) March 21, 2019
Police are investigating the motive behind the attacks, he stated. “Let me be clear, hateful behaviour has absolutely no place in our society and will never be accepted.”
Labour Councillor for Bromford and Hodge Hill Majid Mahmood said that the Witton Road Islamic Centre in Aston had been attacked overnight. The attacker used a sledgehammer to smash its windows, he added.
“I said last week that Muslims were afraid after the terrorist attacks in Christchurch,” he said. “We need support in Brum.”
BBC cited a spokesperson for the Islamic centre saying that CCTV footage showed a man vandalising the building at around 1:30am,
“The whole of the front windows, about six, were smashed,” he said, adding: “Because of the force he used it’s gone through the windows and into the mosque itself.”
Unfortunately the Witton Road Islamic Centre was attacked overnight by an individual who used a sledgehammer to break the windows.
I said last week that Muslims were afraid after the terrorist attacks in #ChristChurch
— Cllr Majid Mahmood 🌹 (@CllrMajid) March 21, 2019
Additionally, Chief Constable Dave Thompson said police have not determined the motive behind last night’s incidents.
“What I can say is that the force and the Counter-Terrorism Unit are working side by side to find whoever is responsible,” Thompson said.
“Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurance and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer,” he said.
The attacks on mosques in Birmingham come nearly a week after a suspected white supremacist armed with semi-automatic weapons rampaged through two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch during afternoon prayers on Friday killing 50 worshippers.