Racist graffiti plagues Ipswich

A victim of a racially motivated vandalism attack spoke of his horror today as fears of an escalation of racist graffiti in Ipswich grew. Ipswich grocer Koysor Miah, who is a member of Ipswich’s Muslim community, spoke of his shock after vandals daubed a string of swastikas and racist abuse on shops and a mosque in the town. Mr Miah said the attacks would frighten worshippers at Shahjalal Mosque after it was one of seven buildings targeted this week.

Abusive words were scrawled on the mosque and the side of Al-Amin Halal Grocery, both on St Helen’s Street, and also on the exterior of a Suffolk New College building on Rope Walk. Swastikas were painted on a newsagent’s shutter and the side of the Millennium Martial Arts Centre building, both on St Helen’s Street, as well as in a subway on St Matthew’s Street and on a front wall of a Norwich Road property.

All the incidents apart from the swastika in Norwich Road were reported to Ipswich Borough Council on Tuesday.

Mr Miah, 35, who owns Al-Amin and worships at the mosque, said: “This is getting worrying. It’s happening more frequently and I don’t know what they want to achieve. “I care for everyone who comes to the mosque – the older people will be frightened.”

The businessman said he had suffered racist abuse from teenagers outside his shop a fortnight ago and they had knocked on his window and repeatedly opened and shut the door to annoy him. Someone has also repeatedly knocked on the door of the mosque in the middle of the night for weeks. Racist graffiti was also daubed on the mosque two years ago, he added.

Evening Star, 15 November 2007