Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth Muslim Academy target of hate crimes

A Muslim academy in Portsmouth has been the target of two hate crimes in the past fortnight, police have said.

In the first incident, a brick with a racist message on it was thrown into the Portsmouth Muslim Academy, on Old Commercial Road, on 13 November.

A beer bottle was then thrown through a window at the front of the building last Friday.

The city's Jami Mosque was also targeted twice in two days on 12 and 13 November.

The mosque was first attacked a day after an Islamic group, Muslims Against Crusades, burned remembrance poppies in London during a two-minute silence to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day.

Hate crime

A poppy was subsequently painted on the front of the mosque, on Victoria Road North in Southsea, and 100 people staged a demonstration outside.

The mosque's imam, Muhammad Muhi Uddin, said he had condemned the poppy burning and was mystified as to why the building had been targeted. One man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

Police said they were treating the incidents of criminal damage at the Portsmouth Muslim Academy as hate crimes.

Insp Fiona Quade, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: "My officers regularly conduct patrols in the area around Old Commercial Road, but if you saw what happened, could identify a suspect or know who did this, please get in touch.

"We've already got an investigation ongoing into the disorder at demonstrations outside the Jami Mosque."

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