Birmingham mosque attacks: Man (with Iranian name) charged with religiously aggravated damage

From the BBC and local newspaper the Express and Star

A man has been charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage after a series of attacks on five Birmingham mosques earlier this year.

The Express and Star reported the damage in March thus

Five mosques have had their windows smashed by sledgehammer vandals during a night of attacks. The vandals targeted mosques across the north of Birmingham between 2.30am and 10am today.

West Midlands Police are treating the incidents as linked and are working with the Counter Terrorism Unit to track down the people responsible, however Chief Constable Dave Thompson said the motive for the attacks was not yet known.

The vandalism comes less than one week after the fatal Christchurch shootings in New Zealand . . .Police were called to the first incident at 2.32am when a man was reported to be smashing windows with a sledgehammer at the Jame Masjid in Birchfield Road, Handsworth Wood.

Around 40 minutes later police were alerted to a similar attack at the Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef mosque in Slade Road, Erdington. Officers began patrols in areas with mosques and came across further damage at Witton Islamic Centre and Masjid Faizul Islam in Aston.

Labour deputy leader and West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson, said: “I’m deeply saddened and disturbed by the attacks that have taken place on mosques across Birmingham in the early hours of this morning. Mosques are places of worship where people should feel safe and I’m appalled that they’ve been targeted in this way.I stand in complete solidarity with the British Muslim community against the growing tide of Islamophobia we are facing in this country.

We have recently seen the tragic consequences of right wing extremism in New Zealand. I hope the Government takes the necessary steps to reassure the British Muslim community and that the perpetrators of these hate-fuelled attacks are swiftly brought to justice.”

Local Councillor Majid Mamood was also very worried and tweeted with energy

Back to the man charged

Arman Rezazadeh, 34, from Greenhill Road, in Handsworth, was detained under the Mental Health Act – but has now been deemed fit to charge and will appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on September 12.

The mosques attacked included Witton Islamic Centre, in Witton Road, Aston; Masjid Madrassa Faizul Islam, in the Broadway, Perry Barr; Al-Habib Trust, in Birchfield Road, Aston; Jamia Masjid Ghausia, in Albert Road, Aston; and Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef in Slade Road, Erdington.

I looked those mosques up on Mosquefinder. So far as I can tell they are Sunni Mosques; specifically Deobandi or Salafi. 

Rezazadeh is an Iranian name. I suspect that Arman Rezazadeh is a Shia Muslim. If Cllr Majid Mahmood has tweeted somewhere thanking the police for apprehending the ‘vandals’ or calling for prayers for this poor sick fellow Muslim, that he repent and be forgiven for his misdeeds I haven’t seen it. 


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