Groups show solidarity in face of Islamophobic graffiti near Brixton mosque

The anti-racism activist group Stand Up To Racism is holding an event with North Brixton Islamic Cultural Centre tomorrow to show solidarity in response to recent Islamophopic graffiti.

Hate-filled graffiti was found scrawled on a building close to the Brixton Road mosque on New Year’s Day, just three days after anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a synagogue and shops in north London during the Jewish festival of Hanukah.

The solidarity event will include chief imam of North Brixton Islamic Cultural Centre Faisal Boadi, and other speakers from the affected mosque, and Weyman Bennett co-convener of Stand Up to Racism.

Also speaking will be Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham, Sonia Winifred, Lambeth councillor and cabinet member for equalities and culture, Sara Tomlinson, chairwoman of Lambeth Trades Council, and Steve Headley, assistant general secretary of the RMT.

On the importance in standing in solidarity with the Muslim community, Cllr Winifred said: “We are witnessing an alarming rise in hate crimes across society and we must stand united against this disease.”

This racist vandalism in Brixton was conducted only a few days after anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a synagogue and shop fronts in Hampstead in north London.

Stand Up to Racism called a vigil on December 30 which was attended by more than 200 people. Speakers included Rabbi Janet Darley, Rabbi Herschel Gluck and Stand Up To Racism’s Weyman Bennett.

Poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen closed the event with a poem – They shall not pass – reminding us of the Battle of Cable Street and the long tradition of opposition to anti-Semitism, racism and fascism.

Sheikh Baimba, Imam at North Brixton Islamic Cultural Centre, said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with all charities, faith groups and others to condemn racism, Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination.

“We believe that together we can exist in peace, dignity and prosperity through mutual respect and understanding.”

Rahul Patel, convener of South London Stand Up to Racism, said: “Boris Johnson has shaped and is pushing the Islamophobic debate in the UK today.

“What he is preaching is now having ramifications on the streets of London. We believe that any attempt to scapegoat Muslims is unacceptable and as a community and as a society we will unite and we will make sure those that peddle hate and division will be pushed back. This includes leading politicians in the UK today.”

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