Arson attacks in Leeds condemned as ‘heinous hate crimes’ by HOPE not hate

06 06 18

Following twin arson attacks on the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque and the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Leeds during the early hours of Tuesday morning, HOPE not hate has released the following statement:

Targeting entire communities in this manner is a despicable act of hatred – and will fail. These are heinous hate crimes.

We offer our voice of support to the city’s Sikh and Muslim communities and the people of Leeds at this difficult time.

While the good relations that have been built across this vibrant city will not be driven apart by those who can only offer violence and fear, it is imperative that police act swiftly to catch the perpetrators of these vile acts.

These cowardly actions also take place against a backdrop of rising hate crimes, particularly against Muslims.

There are those, particularly among far-right networks, who are currently spreading lies and fostering fear about our minority communities. These extremists seek to turn communities against one another.

As we saw with the murder of Jo Cox in 2016 and Makram Ali [killed by Darren Osborne outside a Finsbury Park mosque] last year, they are only too eager to lay down the groundwork for violence that follows.

Muslims are bearing the brunt of this hatred but it swallows other communities too. All too often, Sikhs have been the innocent victims of unfettered and ignorant anti-Muslim hatred both here and overseas.

The people of Leeds, and both Sikh and Muslim communities across the UK, must be free to worship in safety and peace.

The preachers of hate must not win.

Imam Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah Masjid, and HOPE not hate trustee, added:

“The despicable arson attacks were an unequivocal attempt to instil fear within the very hearts of the Muslim and Sikh communities in Leeds.

“However, at this time of increasingly brazen attempts to divide communities and curtail the freedoms of religion and belief that are so deeply entrenched in British values, it is imperative that all communities unite against hatred towards any religious group and stand firm in the message that we are all common citizens of this city and will not be divided or turned against one another.”

HOPE not hate board member and Executive Committee member of Sikh Council UK, Gurinder Singh Josan, also said:

“These are despicable attacks on centres of faith but also as an attack on the whole community, for whom these buildings are a key part of their lives.

“The people of Leeds of all communities must work together to catch the culprits and remain vigilant against further arson attacks or other hate crimes.

“There is a toxic climate today created by far-right extremists active both online and off, creating tensions and seeking to divide our communities: we must not let that succeed.

“The authorities need to act, and act fast, to deal with this burgeoning threat.”


Stay informed

Sign up for emails from HOPE not hate to make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, and to receive simple actions you can take to help spread HOPE.


We couldn't do it without our supporters

Fund research, counter hate and support and grow inclusive communities by donating to HOPE not hate today

I am looking for...


Useful links

Close Search X
Donate to HOPE not hate