Walsall, Tipton and now Wolverhampton. Two arrests have recently been made – the suspects are apparently both Eastern European engineering students. Let’s hope that these arrests bring an end to the series of attacks on mosques in and around Birmingham. But of course these men, like (it would seem) the 75 year old arrested recently, may be innocent. It is not surprising that many are asking whether a Cobra meeting should perhaps be called.
Theresa May has expressed her concern about these attacks:
In the West Midlands specialist advisers are giving dedicated security advice to mosques, Islamic schools and community centres so they can develop plans to better protect themselves against terrorist attacks. And in many places there have been increased police patrols and community engagement.
The freedom to worship has long been a part of our British tradition. It is a right that includes every faith community in this country and it is one that I am determined to uphold.
She also observes that:
What happened in the West Midlands is a reminder that terrorism affects all communities in the UK.
Whenever there is news of an attack, perhaps just vandalism, on a mosque, some will react with scepticism, suggesting it may be a sectarian or even false flag attack. It is impossible to assert categorically that this is not the case – these things happen.
Almost by definition, any newly reported, unresolved, crime cannot be pinned down with certainty as an Islamophobic incident, even though that seems the obvious solution. So here are a few reminders that, often, the law of Occam’s razor holds good.