PRESS RELEASE: UK – Arson attack on Islamic Centre in Luton


Islamic Human Rights Commission

The Islamic Centre on Bury Park Road in Luton, Bedfordshire, was subject to an arson attack on 5 May 2009. The fire started after midnight, and has reportedly caused ‘considerable damage’ to the property. However, no one was injured in the blaze. The police believe that an accelerant was used to start the fire and are currently trying to locate the offenders.

Farasat Latif, secretary of the Islamic Centre, expressed his ‘shock and outrage’ at the ‘attack’ and believes that far-right extremists who had been sending written death threats to the mosque are responsible. He also stated that people attending the mosque are ‘very frightened and very scared’ by this incident.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned about this incident and fears for the safety of mosques and Islamic centres as well as for the Muslims who run and attend these places. Demonisation of the Muslim community has increased to the extent that now even places of worship are not safe.

Islamic Human Rights Commission calls upon the authorities to make increased efforts to eliminate Islamophobia and Islamophobic elements from the British society and to check those forces which unjustly incite religious hatred against Muslims.

IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh commented:

“The blame for this attack does not lay solely on the shoulders of the criminals who committed this act but also on those politicians and media personnel who legitimise Islamophobia under the cover of fighting terrorism and promoting cohesion.”

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) (0)7958 522 196, email:[ENDS]


The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
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