Jewish and Muslim charities report continued abuse

03 Nov 2023 News

Oxford mosque

The Central Oxford Mosque Society

Jewish and Muslim charities in the UK have reported continued attacks in the past week.

United Synagogue, the Central Oxford Mosque Society and Wiener Holocaust Library have all reported that they had been the victims of abusive incidents.

According to the Community Security Trust, which the government granted £3m last month to protect Jewish community buildings, there were 893 antisemitic incidents in the UK between Hamas’s attack in Israel (7 October) and 31 October.

This is more than seven times the 126 antisemitic incidents recorded over the same 25-day period last year.

Meanwhile, Tell Mama, a community initiative that measures and combats anti-Muslim hate crimes, logged 515 anti-Muslim cases between 7 October and 29 October, a seven-fold increase over the same period last year (73 cases).

‘This attempt to scare us will not work’

The Central Oxford Mosque Society reported that a red petrol can with the words “IDF” (Israel Defense Forces) and “IDF rule” was thrown over the gate of its mosque on 28 October.

Thames Valley Police, which is investigating the incident, said that the writing on the petrol can “may be related to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza and was empty”.

In a statement posted on social media, the charity said: “We believe this attack was due to us showing our unwavering support for the innocent people of Palestine by displaying Palestinian flags around our mosque. 

“This attempt to scare us will not work. We’ll continue to exercise our democratic right and show solidarity with the innocent Palestinians being massacred indiscriminately and illegally.”

‘Hate-filled messages’

On 31 October, United Synagogue said that it had been forced to remove a “video of schoolchildren singing Hatikva after receiving hate-filled messages”. 

The comments, shared by the charity on social media, depicted the schoolchildren as “future Nazis” and supporting “genocide” among other things.

“The video had nearly 300,000 views and we’re delighted it made so many people happy – but we didn’t want these messages of hate to be associated with our children,” the charity said.

‘Rise in antisemitic threats’

Yesterday, Jewish News reported that the term “Gaza” had been painted in red on a sign outside the Wiener Holocaust Library building in London. 

In a statement, Toby Simpson, the library’s director, said: “Over the last few weeks, we have observed a rise in antisemitic threats with alarm.

“Reports of antisemitic harassment, rhetoric, vandalism and even instances of violence and mass-produced antisemitic literature in the UK should perturb us all. 

“That we see people motivated to tear down posters for missing hostages, including children and babies, is particularly disturbing. Sadly, this is only part of a much wider range of frightening developments that are causing fear amongst our Jewish communities.”

The charity reportedly plans to add the vandalised sign to its collection of antisemitic material.

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