Two grotesque acts of violence against elderly Muslims as they returned home from prayers have taken place in England’s two largest cities in the last two months.
In February, an 82-year-old man was doused in petrol and set alight while returning home from his local mosque in Ealing, West London. And on Monday, 70-year-old Mohammed Rayaz suffered life-changing injuries after he was also drenched in fuel and ignited shortly after leaving the Dudley Road mosque in Birmingham.
Both the Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police were reluctant to jump to conclusions regarding the perpetrator’s motive for the attacks, which any right-minded individual will regard as abhorrent.
Some, however, decided to jump the gun and use the opportunity to push their own dangerous agendas, namely that Britain is a violent country with a deep-rooted hatred of Muslims.
Iranian diplomat and foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, took the opportunity to accuse the West of “breeding hate-mongering and gross violence,” describing the shocking news as evidence of Britain’s “systematic Islamophobia” and calling on the British government to order a public inquiry.
Dr. Shabina Qayyum, a Labour party councilor, tweeted about the news: “Call Islamophobia out for what it is. Call out Terrorism against Muslims for what it is.”
Journalist Maryam Jameela, writing for the left-wing news outlet, The Canary, chose to report on the attack in the same article as she discussed a recently published report on Islamophobia. While acknowledging she was not yet in receipt of all the facts surrounding the case, she decided to brand Britain as “violently Islamophobic” regardless:
The very fact that, when reporting on a story about a man being set fire outside a mosque, we had to distinguish from a similar incident earlier in the year says much about Britain’s attitude towards Islamophobia.
The motivations of this particular attacker are not yet clear, but what is clear is that Britain is violently Islamophobic. Whilst it may be tempting to attribute blame for the problem of Islamophobia on a handful of wrong-headed individuals, this would be a mistake.
Shaheda Dewan, who describes herself as an advisor for Unicef, tweeted: “Absolutely horrifying attack, upsetting that Islamophobia still remains so low on the political agenda. Unacceptable.”
Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal, who received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) last year for her work delivering counter-terrorism strategy across universities and colleges in Britain, tweeted her ridicule at a police statement in the aftermath of the attack, which said officers were “keeping an open mind” about the potential motivation. “And you wonder why confidence in the police is so low. It’s called Islamophobia.”
Bushra Shaikh, a political commentator tweeted: “Angry is an understatement. This is an Islamophobic HATE CRIME. Now tell me Islamophobia isn’t real.”
Ayisha Muhamad, an “activist against Islamophobia,” added: “The prevalence of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred in the UK is alarming and must stop.”
The only issue with jumping the gun is that sometimes your argument can fall flat on its face and you look like a moron, because on Tuesday, West Midlands Police arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder who they believe to be responsible for both attacks.
And on Thursday, that man appeared before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. His name is Mohammed Abbkr, a 28-year-old Black Muslim originally from Sudan, a country whose religious demographic is 91 percent Muslim.
Not quite the White, benefit-scrounging, heavily tattooed, “Britain First” yob those above were hoping for…