‘When will you stop bombing people?’

A passer-by shouted ‘When are you going to stop bombing people?’ at a 14-year-old girl on her way to an Islamic school in Manchester this week.

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The incident was recounted by Manchester Islamic High School for Girls head teacher Mona Mohamed on Radio 4’s Today programme.

She said that the girl had been ‘upset and hurt’ by the comment, but had not replied – which is how she advised her pupils to deal with Islamophobia.

Ms Mohamed said, ‘What’s the point of reacting? That’s not the way we’re going to tackle terrorism.’

A mosque’s door was burned down within hours of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, prompting fears of a race hate attack in retaliation.

The arson attack happened just a few miles away from the scene of the terrorist attack, which killed 22 people and injured 119.

Mohammad Saddiq, imam of Jamia Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre, said it is ‘sad to see more misery in Manchester’ following the blast after an Ariana Grande concert.

The 60-year-old said the mosque in Villa Road, Oldham, was targeted at about 2am.

He said: ‘People are upset. The police are looking at CCTV and investigators were here this morning. We’ll definitely need a new door.

‘There’s a possibility that it’s a retaliation to what happened in Manchester last night but we can’t confirm that.

‘It’s sad to see more misery in Manchester. What happened last night was terrible but this is not the way to respond.’

Mr Saddiq said nothing like this has happened in the three years he has been involved with the mosque.

He added: ‘Last night at around 2am somebody has started a fire through our letterbox. The door is completely burnt down.

‘Very soon after a member of the public was walking past and called the fire brigade. Thankfully nobody was inside at the time.

Rob Waugh

 

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