Islamophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti causes distress in Newcastle
Categories: Latest News
Thursday November 09 2017
Regional paper Newcastle Chronicle reports that offensive graffiti featuring a swastika and the words “F*** ISLAM” was found on a street in the east of the city.
The graffiti was painted white onto a brick wall in Coppice Way in the Sandyford area of Newcastle, and was reported to police on Monday 6 November.
Councillor Dipu Ahad said that local residents who have previously suffered abuse had raised concerns with him, but that some of those targeted on the basis of their religion were too afraid to tell the police.
Councillor Ahad said, “The hostility the Muslim community faces is definitely on the rise, we see it every day, there are a lot of people who come to me and say they’ve been attacked, spit on, had headscarves ripped off – I always encourage them to report it but sometimes people are too scared to.”
Councillor Ahad, a representative for the Elswick ward, added, “[The graffiti is] disgusting, but it’s also a learning experience – we should be disgusted but we also need to talk about what’s going on behind this, as a city we need to talk about why this happened.
“We need to be looking at how to educate people about this sort of hatred.”
Northumbria Police said officers had attended the scene and were making ongoing enquiries. The force said a “request has been made to the council for the graffiti to be removed”.
Recent Home Office figures show that police in Northumbria recorded 1,770 racially or religiously aggravated hate crimes in 2016-17, a 58% increase on the 1,120 racially or religiously aggravated hate crimes recorded the previous year.
Anyone who encounters abusive or insulting graffiti can report it to police by calling the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, Islamophobic abuse can be reported to MEND’s Islamophobia Response Unit by completing the online form here.