Sheffield mosque vandalised: Darnall community mosque attacked over Christmas period in suspected 'hate crime'
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Co-founder, Mohammed Shafiq, entered the mosque on January 2 to turn on the heating in time for visitors to return following the holiday period and found the building a mess. Many parts of the mosque had been damaged, with a number of facilities torn to pieces and rendered unusable.
He said: “I think it’s a hate crime. The main concern with this one is the mess they caused. They threw our holy books on the floor and it’s been walked on top of… We are not safe at all. Now whenever we someone knocks on the door, it could be anyone with any intentions.”
Jamia Abdullah Bin Masood has been targetted by vandals before, but Mohammed had not seen damaged inflicted to the mosque in this way before. He said: “When I went inside everything was a mess. I don’t think it’s robbery or theft because the damage is so extreme.
“They took the wall panels off, which doesn’t make any sense. They damaged the toilets, the kitchen and oven. They emptied the kitchen units onto the floor. In the office, everything is on the floor, the TV is gone, they took the intercom system for the office and took laptops too.”
South Yorkshire Police say they are investigating reports of a burglary.
The attack on the mosque has left the surrounding community without an important centre temporarily.
Mohammed said: “We don’t see ourselves as just a mosque. We do a food bank as well and we offer food and we cook for people…it’s more like a community centre, everyone is welcome to come in.”
Mohammed said the incident has had a big impact on the community, which serves residents with many different backgrounds. Upon finding the mosque in its ransacked state, Mohammed called South Yorkshire Police, who subsequently sent out a forensic team to the scene.
In a statement, South Yorkshire Police have said: “Officers were called to a report of a burglary at a community centre on Broad Oaks, Sheffield, at 3.45pm on 2 January 2023. Electronics were taken and inside the premises was damaged.
“Enquiries are on-going and anyone with information is asked to report it via online live chat, our online portal, or by calling 101 quoting incident number 496 of 2 January 2023.”