An Asian man was attacked outside a Whitechapel mosque by three white males who made racist comments towards him hours after the deadly attacks at two mosques in New Zealand.
The three white males in a car made anti-Muslim comments to the 27-year-old man before getting out of a blue Ford Fiesta and attacking him with a ‘blunt object’ on Cannon Street Road, Whitechapel on March 15.
The suspects returned to their car after the attack and left the scene before the police arrived.
The victim was taken to an East London hospital by his friends for a head injury and has since been discharged.
Investigators are still searching for the vehicle and the suspects. Police officers stepped up patrols and provided security advice at mosques across the UK following the incident.
The Metropolitan Police said: “[The suspects are] white men, believed to be aged in their 20s.”
Police are appealing for information and any witnesses who could possibly hold ‘multimedia footage.’
Footage which was shared on social media appeared to show three suspects approaching the car. It shows one man clinging to the Ford Fiesta’s bonnet, whilst another climbed into the back seat, as the car sped away from the scene.
Detectives from the Central East Command Unit are investigating.
Detective Chief Inspector, Sean Channing, said: “This was a horrible crime assault on a man going about his daily business. Whilst there were initial Islam phobic comments made by this group towards the individual which are being treated seriously, I would like to make clear that at no point did the group approach any mosque or congregation in this area.
“Officers are in contact with the victim and seeking to obtain an account from him. Detectives from the Central East Command Unit are investigating. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances and identify any motive.”
In a statement that was issued later, Tower Hamlets Police said they currently had no reason to believe the mosque on Cannon Street Road had been targeted. Tower Hamlets Police said: “The incident is being investigated by specialist safeguarding officers from Bethnal Green Police.”
Anyone with information about this incident on Canon Street Road is urged to call police on 101 quoting CAD 3563/15MAR on Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Hate crime can be reported through 999 in an emergency, by dialling 101 in a non-emergency, or directly at a police station.