When it comes to crimes of bigotry, there’s seldom a shortage of victims. The only problem is differentiating between real incidents and hoaxes, as seen in the case of disgraced actor Jussie Smollett.
Attacks on five mosques in Birmingham, England, prompted The New York Times to report that the Muslim population in the U.K. “has been the subject of an increasing number of hate crimes.”
“The attacks came after a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday Prayer last week left at least 50 people dead, and the British police said they had been providing reassurance and support at mosques in Birmingham,” the newspaper reported.
And while it could be argued the incidents in Birmingham were indeed hate crimes, the BBC just reported that a Shia Muslim was jailed for three years and nine months for the vandalism attacks on the mosques.
More from the BBC on the Shia Muslim involved:
Arman Rezazadeh, who is of Iranian descent, used a sledgehammer to smash windows and doors in Perry Barr, Aston and Erdington on 21 March.
The 34-year-old admitted religiously aggravated criminal damage .
Judge Michael Chambers QC said Rezazadeh had been “motivated by religious hatred” and all the mosques he attacked were used by Sunni Muslims.
Sunni-Shia hostility dates back centuries, all the way back to the seventh century and the death of the prophet Muhammad.
The media coverage of the Birmingham mosques contributed to the expected cries of “Islamophobia” on the left, as the previous week’s attacks in New Zealand resonated.
The Times reported on crimes against Muslim worshipers that “raised questions about the radicalizing influence of far-right groups in Britain.”
Majid Mahmood, a member of the local council where the attacks took place, posted a video of one of the mosques and said the Muslim community was fearful of other attacks, calling on police to step up patrols.
This is the Slade Road mosque in Erdington that was attacked last night. All the broken windows have been boarded up
In total 5 mosques were attacked with the offenders using sledgehammers
— Cllr Majid Mahmood ? (@CllrMajid) March 21, 2019
Liberal politicians eagerly reacted to a perceived attack on the Muslim community, as seen in a tweet from Birmingham City Council member John Cotton, the cabinet member for social inclusion, community safety and equalities.
Appalled to see that Birmingham mosques have been the target of vandalism and violence overnight. I’m working with @WMPolice & @BhamCityCouncil to ensure we find those responsible & support our Muslim communities. These thugs do not speak for Birmingham & will not divide us.
— John Cotton (@CllrJohnCotton) March 21, 2019
Cotton’s very active Twitter page has no mention of last week’s BBC report on a Muslim being responsible for attacking the mosques.
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