A mosque has been vandalised during a far-right protest march in Rotherham, south Yorkshire, as tension rises in the town after the grooming scandal. The glass front door of the Markaz-ul-Uloom Al-Islamia, a Deobandi mosque near the city centre, was broken on Saturday.
Muhbeen Hussain, a local Muslim community organiser, said that the English Defence League had paraded through the city with a banner reading “Muslim groomers”. He also claimed that demonstrators smashed the windows of a halal butcher and a corner shop owned by a Muslim.
Mr Hussain is organising a counter-demonstration this weekend. “We’re calling on the whole community to come out and to say that we will not allow the far right to commit that type of hate crime,” he said.
Saturday’s demonstration has been organised by British Muslim Youth, and its primary purpose is to demand justice for the victims of child sexual abuse.
Update: See “‘Muslim hate crime has risen’ in Rotherham, says youth worker”, BBC Newsbeat, 18 September 2014
Update 2: See “Muslim protest against Rotherham child abuse held ‘without incident’”, The Star, 21 September 2014