Sunderland’s Jami-Masjid mosque on Chester Road has been graffitied with the words “Muslims out” sparking outrage from the local community.
The graffiti was applied on the evening and night of the January 27. The mosque has been targeted by vandals before.
Imam Syed Shuheb said: “This is an unacceptable expression of xenophobia and racism and discrimination towards the Muslim community. We are understandably outraged about this.”
Councillor Michael Mordey, Portfolio for City Services at Sunderland City Council has said: “Any racist graffiti or hate crime is unacceptable and these incidents of intolerable and disturbing behaviour do not belong in Sunderland.
“These are outrageous acts that have disgusted me and I know will disgust people across out city. Anyone with any information about these incidents should contact the police immediately.”
At the Sunderland Jami-Masjid, the repainting begins again.
Secretary of the Mosque, Syed Islam, said that: “We just worship here for God. Everybody has their religion, who doesn’t hate any other religion. Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, they can do their religion whatever they wish. We are doing our religion, praying for God.
“We are not harming people, and we want to live peacefully in this country. We love this country. We are citizens of this country, but we have a different faith. Everybody can have a different faith, but this is an abuse of our property, our worship place.
“Not everybody (in the UK) is like this, the majority are peaceful and good to us, but some very few people are hating Muslims in this country.”
More Islamophobic graffiti was also found on the underpass behind the University Metro station.
The Northumbria Police are investigating.
Anyone who has any information on the attack is being asked to contact the police on 101, quoting reference 263 280117 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
By Ryan Lim and Mariam Khattab