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Barking mosque leader: Muslim women 'verbally abused' and 'spat on' after London Bridge attacks

PUBLISHED: 13:15 07 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:27 07 June 2017

Ash Siddique, secretary of the Al-Madina Mosque in Barking, has claimed Muslim women in east London have been the target of physical and verbal abuse since the London Bridge atrocity. Photo: Scott D'Arcy/PA Wire.

Ash Siddique, secretary of the Al-Madina Mosque in Barking, has claimed Muslim women in east London have been the target of physical and verbal abuse since the London Bridge atrocity. Photo: Scott D'Arcy/PA Wire.

Muslim women have been "verbally abused" and "spat on" since the London Bridge attacks, a mosque secretary has claimed.

“A number of incidents” had taken place in east London since the atrocities on Saturday, including one woman who was reportedly grabbed around the throat at a bus stop, Barking’s Al-Madina Mosque secretary Ash Siddique has claimed.

Two of the three terrorists, who mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revellers at Borough Market, killing seven, have been named as Barking residents Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, and Rachid Redouane, 30. The third man was named yesterday as 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba.

Seven women were among the 12 arrested in Barking on Sunday but all have since been released without charge.

But according to Mr Siddique, women have been the focus of violent threats and actions since the attacks.

“One lady was at the bus stop and she was grabbed around the throat,” explained Mr Siddique, who has reported the incident to the police. “We’ve had a number of ladies who have been verbally abused and a number of ladies who have been spat on.

“We’ve had a couple of telephone calls, physical threats - ‘we are going to attack you’ and that sort of thing.”

Mr Siddique said he did not believe Butt, rumoured to have attended the nearby Jabir bin Zayd Islamic Centre in Broadway, Barking, had visited Al-Madina Mosque.

“As far as I’m aware, no. To be honest with you, sometimes we have 1,000 people here so he could have come here but as far as we know, I’ve asked some of my colleagues and the people that work here and nobody seems to recognise him.”

The failure to prevent the attacks was “not on part of the community”, Mr Siddique said, but he understood police and security services had an “enormously difficult job” and that terrorists “just need to get lucky once”.

Regarding the abuse, he added: “To be honest with you, it’s par for the course of being a Muslim in the UK today.

“Perhaps that’s to be expected after a major event like this but it’s still disconcerting for those individuals involved.”

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