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Newcastle Islamic school targeted in Islamophobic attack 

An Islamic school in Newcastle has been the subject of a Islamophobic attack after swastikas and anti-Muslim graffiti were sprayed on the walls, leaving staff feeling vulnerable and afraid.

Upon entering the building on Friday morning, police found copies of the Quran strewn across the floor and the words “moslem terorists” graffitied on the wall. Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Muhammed Abdulmuheet, principal at the Newcastle Bahr Academy, said that his staff were afraid to enter the school and even attend the Jumu’ah prayers being held there due to the feeling of vulnerability the attack had left on the staff.

“We don’t know if they want to physically harm us. This has happened so many times now, it is only so long until the building is burned down” Abdulmuheet said.

The Academy was formally the set of a children’s TV programme but since 2010 when announced that it would be converted to a school, it has been targeted repeatedly by vandals with windows being broken and burglaries being a normality.

The former owners of the building have supported Bahr Academy and have raised more than £1000 to help with the cost of the repairs.

“We just want to help them heal” said Anna McGrath, the former director of the programme, “the thought that children have to see this in their school, place of worship and neighbourhood is horrible and has to be traumatising” she added.

Abdulmuheet said that he and the Bahr Academy staff have been overwhelmed by support given to them by the community and that despite the “emotional damage” caused by the attack, he has forgiven the vandals.

“We want to speak to them, and for them to know they shouldn’t be frightened of us. We feel we can’t blame them if they don’t know better. We want to say, let’s talk, let’s educate them on what they have been misinformed of [about us]” he added.

Speaking of the attack, one community leader said ”bigots will be bigots – we need to show compassion. There is a lot of ignorance out there, and hate does not work against hate. It is important we unite and show what true Islam is about”.

In the last three years, there has been a sharp rise in Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK with 2017 having a record number of attacks against Muslims.

In 2018 there were over 1,200 reports of Islamophobic attacks, a 26% surge from the previous year.

Islamophobic incidents have risen significantly due to a number of factors such as Brexit and the proliferation of far-right groups manipulating peoples’ misconceptions on immigration and faith.

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/28/newcastle-islamic-school-staff-afraid-after-racist-vandalism

[2] https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/bahr-academy-newcastle-byker-grove-15748383

[3] https://www.islam21c.com/news-views/man-arrested-after-filming-muslim-schoolgirls-in-a-grotesque-racist-video/

The views expressed on Islam21c and its connected channels do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation.


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One comment

  1. No way is Britain open minded. I say this as a non-native who has been discriminated against even in an official context and knows plenty of stories of others who I personally know and who suffered even worse. Britain is, after all, a deeply segregated country along racial lines. Why else would there be such an institution as the “National Black Police Association”? So why do we get all upset when non-police officers advocate racial segregation and thus discrimination? I think you’ll find the national black police association emerged after, and due to, the rampant racism of the police force. Otherwise they wouldn’t have needed to form. Clearly.

    The quiet racism thrives in all-white all English enclaves, especially rural areas. I live in one such place and in the local village pub after hours when their guards are down the racist abuse starts on the very safe ground of Muslim hating then extends eastern Europeans, and more recently the Scots. But this will only be said when the door is locked and the curtains drawn, when they feel safe to voice their racism. And sadly its not just the the ignorant, but also as I have witnessed a lawyer and a solicitor, a pair of parish councillors, a prison warden, and a retired policeman. This is not something that can be eradicated by educated, these people are educated, they are also laced with hatred. If British people are against people coming from other countries to live and work here then they should be prohibited from living and working in foreign countries themselves. Seems fair, doesn’t it? Britain has one of the lowest amounts of immigration of most Western Europe…

    No one has any problem when: Jews keep beards and wear their traditional caps Christian priests and nuns wear their religious outfits Buddhist monks wear orange robes Sikhs keep beards and wear turbans Indian aunties wear Sarees (cross streets and hang out in Wal-Mart) Yeah but if any Muslim male keeps beard or if any Muslim girl wears hijab then everyone has problem. It’s Freedom when you go naked but it’s extremism when you wear hijab – just plain hypocrisy! Looking at the case of France, a major secular nation, I believe it is also not allowing women freedom by not letting her to wear her choice of clothing as it supposedly “clashes with French secular values”.

    Stop treating foreigners like garbage and they will stop ruining your precious country. Why did you let them in in the first place if you didn’t want them here? They left everything in their countries because of your promises. Are you so anxious to please that you can’t say “no”? I would love to see you go to a foreign land where you don’t have any friends, you don’t even know anyone and you don’t speak the language, and start from scratch. I would just LOVE to watch you do that. Let them integrate and stop segregating them. What I want is people being nice to each other. I don’t care about race.

    Speaking English does not promote integration into British, American and Australian societies, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to state schools with monolingual non-Muslim teachers and English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right are also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime. Language is not just a language. It defines one’s culture, identity and consciousness. It defines how we think, communicate and express ourselves. The fact is the most South Asian Muslims have come to know Islam by way of Urdu, the children’s alienation from the language that connects them the heritage of their parents and grandparents is disturbing. As a matter of fact, one has to get to know his mother tongue well if one is to master any other language.

    The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won’t feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parents that the British schooling does not adequately address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. State schools with monolingual teachers are not capable to teach English to bilingual Muslim children. Bilingual teachers are needed to teach English to such children along with their mother tongue. According to a number of studies, a child will not learn a second language if his first language is ignored.

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