Police increase patrols around mosques and Islamic centres in Greater Manchester after ‘disturbances’

The Manchester Council of Mosques has condemned graffiti at the Islamic Centre on Sidney Street and said it believes the disturbance was an isolated incident.

Greater Manchester police say they have upped patrols around mosques and Islamic centres in Greater Manchester in response to “incidents” in Manchester city centre this weekend.

Officers were called to a ‘disturbance involving a large group of people at the Islamic Centre on Sidney Street’ at 11.20pm last night (Sunday 25 September).

They found one man had a small cut to his face, external walls had been damaged and a vehicle parked outside had been vandalised with graffiti about Iran.

A man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remains in custody this morning.

Earlier in the day, there had been disturbances during protests in the centre, police said.

Superintendent Ian Jones, of GMP’s City of Manchester district, said: “We understand the concern these incidents will cause our communities so have increased patrols in locations of significance, both to reassure people and keep them safe.

“Meanwhile, enquiries are ongoing in relation to the disturbances - with officers following a number of lines of enquiry to identify those responsible for these crimes and send a clear message that this behaviour will not be tolerated in Greater Manchester.”

The Manchester Council of Mosques said it believed the disturbance was an isolated incident and condemned what had happened at the Islamic Centre on Sidney Street.

Welfare officer Coun Rabnawaz Akbar said: “Any incident of violence or ASB at a mosque is deplorable and must be condemned in the strongest possible manner.

“GMP are still investigating the matter, but we believe that this is an isolated incident that is linked to the ongoing situation in Iran.

“The congregation of the Manchester Islamic Centre in the city centre is the Shia community and many of them are of Iranian heritage.

“We do not believe there is a wider risk of such incidents escalating to the majority of mosques and Islamic centres in the city.“

  • Anyone with information should contact GMP via gmp.police.uk or call 101 quoting 3373 25/09/22. Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.