Imam seriously injured in bloody attack at Regent's Park mosque

12th August 2007
Daily Mail

Regent's Park mosque, London

An imam was in a serious condition in hospital today after being attacked in a London mosque.

The Muslim cleric was assaulted at Regent's Park mosque on Friday.

The 58-year-old imam, who has not been named, suffered heavy blood loss, damage to both eyes and had to undergo emergency surgery, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said.

The MCB claim there have been a series of recent Islamophobic crimes in Britain, which they believe have been fuelled by the media.

An arson attack on a mosque in Bradford on August 3 is being treated as suspicious by police.

Strathclyde Police have also reported an increase in race crime in the west of Scotland since the suspected terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport on June 30.

An MCB spokesman said: "There is clearly a growing anti-Muslim climate in this country and it has some very worrying implications for all of us.

"It is deeply regrettable that sections of our media have been playing a key role in fermenting much of this Islamophobic prejudice and hatred against British Muslims."

The Metropolitan Police said officers were called at about 8.30am on Friday to reports of an assault at Regent's Park mosque, known as the Islamic Cultural Centre.

The victim was taken to a central London hospital by the London Ambulance Service where he remains.

Responsibility for race and community relations was transferred from the Home Office to Ruth Kelly's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in May.

Forums aimed at tackling Islamophobia and extremism have been established in Leicester, Redbridge and Dudley, with more planned around the country.

A spokeswoman for the DCLG said: "Any crime motivated by a prejudice against a person's race or religion is deplorable and we are committed to doing all we can to support the police in this matter."