Hate attack on worshippers at Ilford mosque

Police have launched an investigation after worshippers attending late night prayers at a Redbridge mosque were pelted with eggs and stones.

Detectives said they are investigating a hate crime after the “cowardly” attack on the Ilford Islamic Centre at 11pm on Tuesday May 4.

Items were thrown from a silver estate car by a white man with a shaved head, mosque staff said. At least three other people are thought to have been in the vehicle.

A spokesman for the mosque, in Albert Road, said: “During Taraveeh prayers our masjid was attacked by a few burly looking white men, shaven headed, in a drive-by egg attack.

“The attack happened very quickly and although we had four security guards, it was hard to see exactly what the registration was.

“The guards were concerned that they may have driven into them.”

Redbridge detective chief superintendent Stephen Clayman said police had stepped up patrols in the area.

“We take all reports of hate crime very seriously and have launched an investigation,” he said.

“Incidents like this will not be tolerated and my officers will be undertaking enhanced patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the local community and visitors to the mosque.”

Politicians have also condemned the attack, which happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

MP for Ilford South Sam Tarry tweeted: “I am shocked and saddened to hear of this Islamophobic attack against Ilford Mosque.

“These disgraceful acts of violence and hatred have no place in Ilford, and I hope that the perpetrators face justice as soon as possible. Solidarity with the victims.”

Redbridge council leader Jas Athwal said: “I am in contact with the police and Albert Road Mosque about the disgusting racist attack that took place last night. There is no place for hatred, racism or Islamophobia in our borough.”

Barking and Dagenham council leader Darren Rodwell added: “It’s very sad to hear about this cowardly attack on innocent people last night.

“Barking and Dagenham stands in solidarity with our neighbours in Redbridge, against hate and intolerance in all its forms.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter