Grimsby Islamic Centre Set Ablaze by Suspected Arsonists
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
(CNN) – Fears were growing in Britain on Monday of a surge in Islamophobia in the wake of the knifing death of a British soldier last week that his suspected attackers claimed was revenge for the deaths of Muslims worldwide.
Authorities have arrested 10 people in the case. Four are still in custody, including the two suspected attackers.
But the series of arrests after the British soldier’s slaying have done nothing to quell surging anti-Muslim sentiment in some sectors of the United Kingdom.
A mosque was set ablaze Sunday in Grimsby, a town on England’s east coast. Officers arrested two men there on suspicion of arson, according to Humberside county police. No one was injured in the fire.
The English Defence League demonstrated in the town’s center the morning before the fire. On Monday, hundreds of EDL supporters marched near the central London office of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Enraged by the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in the southeast London neighborhood of Woolwich on Wednesday, the EDL has called for marches around the UK.
In a demonstration in Newcastle on Saturday, angry supporters cried out for Muslims to leave the country.EDL demonstrators threw objects at counter demonstrators, and police stepped in to keep the raucous men from going after their opponents.
The EDL claims Islamic law is poised to overthrow British society and calls for Britons to act aggressively to pre-empt it.
“If we fail to show courage now, we will leave revolution, civil war or subjugation to our children and our children’s children,” reads the motto on the EDL’s website. “Any act of muslim extremism will now be countered by the EDL,” it vows on its Facebook page.
Fear at the mosque
On Friday, members of the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre expressed fear on its Facebook page over the EDL’s announcement of Saturday’s protest.
“Guys can you try to keep as safe as poss as the EDL in Grimsby have planned a few demonstrations in the coming days,” Nadia Hussein posted.
Another poster on the mosque’s Facebook page claimed the Grimsby EDL gave out the Islamic center’s address. “Stay safe and Allah be with us all,” Gayle Hardy added.
CNN could not corroborate the claim on EDL Grimsby’s Facebook page. Police have not implicated the EDL or any other group in the mosque fire.
After the blaze, police said they were aware of online postings “by a small minority of individuals” that were intended to “incite trouble,” Humberside County police said.
“Those people should be aware that we are monitoring these sites in Humberside and we will take action against those intent on attempting to incite violence or post messages of a racial nature,” police warned.
Reports of anti-Islamic incidents surged after Rigby’s gruesome killing, according to Fiyaz Mughal, who operates a hotline for Muslims under attack. In the 48 hours after the murder, he received 162 reports from victims saying people had called them names, assaulted them or thrown things at them.
Before the Woolwich killing, Mughal received around five complaints per day.
Eight mosques were attacked across the country during that time, he said.
Original post: Grimsby Islamic Centre Set Ablaze by Suspected Arsonists