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'Hate crime' paint attack on Belfast Islamic Centre

By Claire Williamson

Published 06/09/2016

The Belfast Islamic Centre daubed with red paint. Pic: BBC Kevin Sharkey @tv_KevinSharkey
The Belfast Islamic Centre daubed with red paint. Pic: BBC Kevin Sharkey @tv_KevinSharkey
A painter covers up paint which was thrown at the Belfast Islamic Centre in south Belfast on Monday night. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
A painter covers up paint which was thrown at the Belfast Islamic Centre in south Belfast on Monday night. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
A painter covers up paint which was thrown at the Belfast Islamic Centre in south Belfast on Monday night. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

A paint attack on the Belfast Islamic Centre has been branded "disgusting".

Red paint has been daubed on the door of the building in the Wellington Park area of Belfast.

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

It was reported to officers shortly after 11.35pm on Monday night.

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has urged those with information to contact police.

She said: "This attack is disgusting – Belfast Islamic Centre contributes much to the cultural life of South Belfast and beyond, and I utterly condemn those who carried this out, who are unrepresentative of the vast majority of people in the wider area.

“Those who take part in such hate-filled actions seek to drive a wedge between communities and heighten tensions, both racial and religious. They have no place in our society, and we must unite and stand steadfast in order to defeat them.

“If anyone has information about this attack, I would urge them to contact police immediately.”

Sinn Fein MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir added his condemnation to the attack.

He said: "I have spoken to representatives in the centre and wish to put on the record my utter condemnation of this hate crime.

“These attacks are despicable and I appeal for anyone with information to contact the police."

Chairman of Islamic Centre, Dr Saleem Tareen, said: "The only way we can deal with this is through communication.

"We have to carry on with life – these sort of things are saddening but they don't stop you from doing the things you do."

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who has any information that can assist with the investigation to contact police at Lisburn Road on 101 quoting reference number 235 of 06/09/16. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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