BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: Wales
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Muslim leaders probe reported attacks
Muslims at worship in Cardiff
Cardiff Bay has one of the oldest Muslim communities in the UK
Muslim leaders in Swansea are investigating a claim that a woman ripped a headscarf from a Muslim schoolgirl amid claims that a mosque in the city has been stoned and death threats received.

Political and religious leaders in Wales have issued calls for restraint amid concerns that Muslims could become targets for racial attacks following the terrorist attacks in the US.

South Wales Police have refused to confirm or deny that the incidents have been reported to them.

Hamza Rubban, Yemeni mosque
Hamza Rubban: Violence is wrong

However, on Tuesday the force issued a statement which said it is recording an increase in the number of racial attacks.

Omar Williams, who runs a social welfare group in Swansea, said he was investigating claims Muslim pupils in the city have been abused.

It is alleged an adult tore off a Muslim girl's headscarf in one incident and Kayfer has referred the incident to the police.

Muslims have also received malicious telephone calls and windows and mosques have been vandalised.

Mohammed Jarved, chairman of the Muslim Society for Wales, said he was aware of a small number of crimes against property.

"The people responsible for the terrorist crimes should be brought to justice," he said.

Meanwhile, Assembly Finance Minister Edwina Hart - who has met with Muslim community leaders - said restraint was required.

"We are all part of the same world, we cannot just blame a community or religion," said Mrs Hart.

Hamza Rubban, of the Yemeni temple in Cardiff, said attacks on any person of any religion were wrong.

There have been reports of race incidents elsewhere in the UK and a meeting of Muslim civic leaders and community representatives is due to take place in Manchester on Wednesday.

Wales has one of the oldest Muslim communities in the UK, centred in Cardiff Bay, with the oldest mosque dating back to 1860.
Muslims settled in Wales in the 19th century
Muslims settled in Wales in the 19th century

It is estimated that 50,000 Muslims live in Wales.

Islamic leaders in Wales have deplored any acts which may have been carried out in the name of Muslims.

Raja Gul Raiz from the UK Islamic Mission said: "I hope the community here in Wales will understand that this is not the fault of Muslims but is the work of fanatics."

In the United States, the FBI is attempting to unravel links to suspected Middle Eastern terrorists, following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and Pentagon in Washington.

US President George Bush has named Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden as the chief suspect behind the attacks.

Meanwhile, the Church in Wales is due to debate an emergency motion about the terrorist atrocities in the US.

Archbishop Rowan Williams - who witnessed the second aircraft striking the south tower of the World Trade Center - will give his personal address on Thursday.

Mohammed Jarved, Muslim Society for Wales
"The people that commit crimes should be brought to justice"
Omar Williams
"We are making enquiries into a report of a girl's head scarf being ripped off"

Key stories


War view



Programme pages
Launch console for latest Audio/Video
See also:

17 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
NI's Muslims fearful after US attacks
12 Sep 01 | Wales
Fears for relatives in US
12 Sep 01 | UK
UK on high security alert
12 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair's statement in full
12 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair warns of British victims
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories