OPEN LETTER: “we feel profoundly angry at the vandalism of Brixton mosque”

Brixton has a proud tradition of multiculturalism and anti-racist activism and we feel profoundly angry at the vandalism of Brixton mosque and the rising number of racist attacks against muslims. No one should feel the kind of fear and intimidation that many muslims have been subjected to in the past week.

We were all deeply saddened by the terrible murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week but we know that fascist organisations such as the EDL and the BNP who are now trying to stir up trouble and incite racist violence against Muslims, do not care about the dead soldier, his family or the interests of any community.

We will not give any quarter to those who would judge an entire religion, race or nationality by the actions of a few. We never held white people collectively responsible for David Copeland, the former BNP member who planted a nail bomb in Brixton in 1999. Nor should anyone suggest that Britain’s Muslims are collectively responsible for the attack in Woolwich.

We will redouble our efforts to build relationships across our diverse communities and we call on everyone to join with community groups, trade unions and faith groups who are holding a peaceful unity demonstration in Woolwich Central General Gordon Sq, (next to Woolwich Arsenal DLR) this Saturday 1st June at 12 noon, to promote our ideals of anti-racism, multiculturalism and respect for all. We will be meeting locally at 10.30am at Brixton tube to go there together.

Signed by:

Mohammed Khalil, Lambeth Masjid and Progressive Community Centre

Tom Chigbo, Loughborough Junction Citizens

Grace Lally, Chair Loughborough Estate Tenants & Residents Association

Cllr Rachel Heywood, Coldharbour ward

Rabbi Janet Darley, South London Liberal Synagogue

Dr Sarfraz Jeraj, Hyderi Islamic Centre

Rob Owen, NUT young members

Jon Rogers, Lambeth Unison

Pete Gillard, Chair Unite South London Area Committee

Lee Jasper Lambeth Unite Community Branch And BARAC

Eve Samson, South London Liberal Synagogue

Louise Freedman, Vice President South London Liberal Synagogue

Clive Hershman MBE South London Liberal Synagogue

Anna Tapsell, Lambeth Community Police Consultative Committtee

Joan Twelves, former leader Lambeth Council

Anne Sassoon, Chair, Ferndale ward Labour Party

Cllr Matt Parr, Coldharbour ward

Anthea Masey co-chair Loughborough Junction Action Group

Tim Gaymer co-chair Loughborough Junction Action Group

Helen Shaw, Co-director Inquest

Chris Blake Lambeth Save our Services

Ros Brandon, Brixton

Sally Long, Brixton

The signatories of this letter have invited readers to ‘sign’ their names in the comments below if they wish to do so


  1. I fully support this statement, sickened and deeply saddened that this could happen here in Brixton.

  2. The pernicious minority become dangerous if we don’t stand together against their type!
    So, I add my name to this list in recognition of my considerable empathy with the sentiment
    expressed in the above letter.

  3. Uniting against fascism,hate and intolerance. We will not be divided. United with Brixton. We are london. We are the global majority. Truth and justice will prevail.

  4. I would like to add my name to the signatories above to show my support. Through solidarity, compassion & understanding we can show these mindless thugs & wanna be bullies that their actions are not welcome in our community.

    Brian G.Morrison / Brixton

  5. Fully support this letter – and I’m proud to see so many great comments on here condemning this ignorant and intolerant act.
    Luke Massey
    Features Editor, Brixton Blog

  6. Signed. agree with all that’s been said. A tragedy if racism consumes the area after so many battles have been fought and won.

  7. Signed. Uaf peaceful Unity demonstration, NOW AT DOWNING ST, SW1, Whitehall, TOMORROW JUNE 1st – 12 noon, Don’t let the racists of the Bnp/Edl divide our communities, please share/bring banners!

  8. I had no idea, I’ve lived here for 12years and always been so proud, this makes me less so. But happy we are protesting against this. xxx

  9. I would like my name to be added too! This level of ignorance is misdirected anger that maintains a divided popopulace…very sad.

  10. Signed. Coming to Brixton from the city of Belfast with its divisions, tensions and troubles, I’ve always admired Brixton’s cohesiveness. Lets keep it going…

  11. The act of one does not represent the will of the many. How sad to see this in one of the most diverse communities in South London. I hope this doesn’t change relations negatively. No one should be made to feel scared of violence or aggression in their own neighbourhood.

  12. to my brothers and sisters globaly it matters not to me what race colour or cred you are , we are all one and we all live on this planet , it is only religion and money that is dstroying us , dont hate because of skin colour or religion , peace alan .

  13. I fully support this and thank you for taking a stand. Sadly mindless thugs and lunatics pretend they stand for everyone on behalf of all different nations and religions. Little do they realise that they have more in common which each other in their own ignorant violent minority than their claims to represent the masses on causes they are supposedly fighting in aid of..

  14. I am an RS teacher and I am constantly reinforcing to my students that Islam means ‘peace’ and that this attack has not got anything to do with the true Muslim faith.

  15. Fully support this and so proud of all the comments that have been posted here tonight.
    Brixton Blog Co-Editor

  16. This is intolerable, we all co exist and we shouldn’t feel threatened by the minority who want to damage and cause rifts between our communities.

  17. Being the only revert/convert runned mosque in Europe, Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center has been a leader in bringing the traditions of Islam and Caribbean culture to the fore of Lambeth’s cultural landscape,

    Brixton Mosque has always been inclusive, as witnessed by its congregation of worshipers spanning the three major continents of the world: Europe, Africa and Asia. After the Friday prayers the blend of ‘races’, nations and ethnicities has been a soothing eye for those who celebrate and uphold the reality that Britain is indeed a multicultural country and has been so for well over two millennia.

    The mosque has been an outspoken critic of terror and extremism and this brave stance has earned it the ire and scorn of extremists at home and abroad. Given that the mosque was one of the first Muslim institutions to condemn and deplore the horrific killing of Lee Rigby in Woolwich this attack defies all reason.

    This act of vandalism, an unwarranted and vicious assault against a place of worship, is not only an attack against the religious freedom but also an act of hate towards one of Britain’s long-standing – African-Caribbean – institutions.

  18. I’ll be there.


    We are stronger than the EDL and BNP because we are bound by hope, not hate.

  19. Totally in support and totally shocked by the actions of these cowards. They will never divide us – we stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers. Always.

  20. Proud to be part of a strong community, made stronger by its multi-culturalism, that stands together to oppose racists and fascists. No pasaran. Bridget Chapman, Assistant Branch Secretary, Lambeth NUT

  21. Brixton Mosque [Masjid Ibn Taymeeyah] is well-known for its community work in Brixton with vulnerable young Muslims and providing a sound theological cultivation [the Salafi tradition] coupled with a social ethos in providing the Muslim community with outreach projects to assist the local community. Many of the attendees, around half, are converts who have families which are not Muslims and hence it is easily by far probably the most diverse and integrated Muslim community if not in London then in the country. It also possibly has the largest number of converts for a mosque in the country so an attack on it is indeed an attack on Brixton itself.

    Moreover, the Mosque, since the 1990s has been leading the way in the UK in terms of the Muslim challenge against al-Qaeda thought in London, which has led to enmity also from extremist al-Qaeda sympathisers and propaganda.

    Richard Reid and Zacharias Moussaoui, the “shoe bomber” and the “20th 9/11 hijacker” respectively, had their view rigorously opposed and challenged at Brixton Mosque.

    Hence, it is positive that the community at large have come to together to condemn such far right-wing-inspired attacks on our Mosque in Brixton.

    Well done for bringing attention to it and a reminder for Brixton to remain vigilant, as “soft” targets such as Muslim women are experiencing much hardship in London in the aftermath of the brutal and savage Woolwich attack by individuals influenced by what is regarded by Brixton Mosque as a heretical, deviated and extreme interpretation of Islam known as the “Takfiri” and Khawarij methodology.


  22. Let’s make Saturday huge to show the EDL/BNP they are not wanted not welcome in our communities.

  23. Brixton is so wonderful specifically because of the diversity, I’m so grateful to be part of a community that will fight against all forms of bigotry

  24. Let’s make Saturday huge to show the racists that they are not welcome in our communities.

  25. Thanks for setting this up – I’m pleased that we’re able to voice rejection of this kind of prejudice.

  26. United we stand, divided we fall. People of Brixton come together, stand tall.
    I too add my name.

  27. It is a shame there are some who, instead of welcoming and celebrating the differences of others, persecute them for it. Without a wealth cultures, London simply would not be the London we know and cherish. It would be a barren, bleak and empty city.

  28. Rayhan Uddin, Anti-Racism Officer-elect, London School of Economics Students Union

    Solidarity with all those trying to fight against Islamophobia and racism.

  29. Please add my name to the signatories.
    Solidarity against fascism and racism on our streets.

  30. Up until recently I lived in Brixton. Let’s promote multi everything by letting go of all prejudices.

  31. Very well said. I would like to add my name & I’m sure the majority of people in Brixton feel the same.

  32. Unacceptable behaviour from people with unacceptable views. This isn’t the Brixton I associate with and nor should anyone else. We need to bring an end to this racist, fascist and xenophobic movement brought about by the likes of the BNP the EDL and probably UKIP while we’re at it. It needs to be stamped out for good.

  33. Very well put, fascist and racist institutions have no place in modern Britain. Especially if they are not open to discourse and critiques about their approach. Britain has always been a multicultural society and a model for a progressive open one. Every denomination of immigrant and citizen has contributed to the depth in culture and development of these great Isles.

    Sadly a very small minority tarnish this image allowing the Media and unthoughtful Political remarks only enhance and sensationalise certain demographics. To which the real extremist fundamentalist in this case the BNP & EDL look to capitalize through a means of blind ignorance and re-appropriating hate and separatism.

    Muslims, Christian, Black, White or Asian should all unite against this. Not through a means of aggression or confrontation but through sensible discourse, peaceful and intelligent activities and re-engaging with those disenfranchised communities especially the seemingly angry white working class. Which these separatist thrive on recruiting.

  34. Bigtime signed. This is not Brixton.

    For anyone interested in joining the EDL, I would strongly suggest you choose the English Disco Lovers instead of the horrible racists.

  35. I fully agree and share with Siobhan the sense of pride of being part of Brixton’s multicultural, open and progressive community. Against fascism, racism and ignorant hypocrite generalisations.

  36. I would love to add my name to the Signatories above . what a shame !!!!!!!!!!!!! not in Brixton !!!!!!!!!

  37. I would like to add my name to the above signatories and extend my support. I have lived in Brixton 25yrs, simply because of it’s wonderful diverse, welcoming, multi-racial, peaceful vibe. We cannot let the BNP EDL divide and conquer with their hate and ignorance.

    Christina O’Neill.

  38. I am delighted to sign this letter in solidarity with anyone who faces xenophobic persecution in Britain. We are all part of one human race, and let’s never forget it.

  39. Well put. I would like to add my name to the signatories above, and express my outrage and disappointment, but also my pride that accepting injustice of any sort quietly has never been a Brixton modus operandi!

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