A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson attacks on a mosque and a Sikh temple in English city of Leeds, police said today as they probed the incident as a hate crime.
Yesterday, the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque in Hardy Street, Beeston, was attacked, along with the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Lady Pit Lane.
The main door of the mosque in south of the city centre had been set on fire at about 3.45am (local time) on Tuesday. A few minutes later, the door of the Gurdwara was also set on fire.
The man, who was not named, was arrested at an address in the city yesterday night after fires were started at the front doors of two buildings. He remains in police custody as enquiries continue, The Guardian reported.
“We are continuing to liaise with our colleagues in the local neighbourhood policing team who are maintaining an increased presence in the area and having regular contact with key representatives from the communities affected to keep them updated and to reassure the wider community,” said Detective Inspector Richard Holmes, of Leeds District CID in a statement following the arrest.
Leeds’ Racial Justice Network criticised the lack of national media coverage of the incident, saying it revealed “a lack of concern for Muslim and Sikh lives and reminds us that the terrorist label (and public outrage) is only reserved for black and brown people”.
“These attacks follow on from racist and fascist marches in Leeds and Manchester at the weekend and reflect a resurgence of far-right racism,” they said. “Whilst we believe that the far right are still in the minority, there is a real need for the solidification and growth of anti-racist movements. With our allies across the country, the Racial Justice Network will be a part of it.”