A number of anti-Muslim incidents have been reported in the UK after the Manchester bombing with a Muslim woman spat on while a teenaged Muslim girl taunted by a passer-by who said, “when are you going to stop bombing people”. A 14-year-old pupil at Manchester Islamic High School for girls was taunted while on her way to school by a passer- by.
Mona Mohamed, head teacher at the school, told Radio 4’s Today programme that the teenager had been “upset and hurt” by the comment, “when are you going to stop bombing people”, but had not responded.
Mohamed was quoted by The Telegraph as saying that she advised her pupils to keep quiet if they are subjected to Islamophobic abuse. “What’s the point of reacting?” she said. “That’s not the way we’re going to tackle terrorism.”
A few hours after the Manchester concert attack an unidentified figure was caught on CCTV attempting to set fire to the door of a mosque in Oldham. On Tuesday, a Muslim woman was spat on by a stranger on Manchester’s Oxford Road, the Tab reported. The stranger approached the student and spat on her. She told the daily that she was “upset and shook up”.
The student, who asked to remain anonymous, said she took a taxi straight home. “These kind of attacks aim to disrupt and divide our society. An incident that attempts to divide us will only make us stronger,” the University of Manchester said in a statement.
“We have faith in the strength and resilience of the people of Manchester, and implore students and the wider community to come together at this difficult time,” it said.
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“With over 200,000 pounds raised and the hundreds that have queued at the blood banks show that no matter what — #WeStandTogether,” it added.
The racially-motivated incidents occurred in the wake of Monday’s suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena claimed by the Islamic State, in which 22 people were killed and dozens more injured shortly after the end of a pop concert by Ariana Grande.
The bombing was carried out by 22-year-old Salman Abedi, a British Muslim man of Libyan heritage.
“To us, Islam is peaceful. If someone claimed to be Muslim and carried out an act of that kind, they’re not part of us…We’re not going to stand here and apologise for them,” Mohamed said. Many Muslim groups across the UK have condemned the bombing.