the Yorkshire Evening Post shares the shock and dismay of community leaders after two places of worship in the same part of Leeds were targeted in arson attacks.
Police have linked the two incidents, in which the main door of a mosque and a Sikh temple, both in Beeston, were deliberately set alight. They are being treated as hate crimes.
What else could they be?
To deliberately try to burn down someone else’s place of worship is an act which could only be rooted in hatred.
Perhaps the people carrying out the attack did not realise that this was the holiest time for Muslim worshippers, being the month of Ramadan, or perhaps they did. Certainly it meant that the outcome could have been a lot worse at the mosque, as some worshippers at morning prayers had left the building just half an hour before the fire was started.
As Amjid Hussain, secretary of the mosque committee says: “This is a multi-cultural community, and we all try to help each other.”
Such incidents, where hatred is directed at a particular section of the community, have the potential to cause divisions and tensions. But the people of Leeds, the people of Beeston, are bigger and better than that.
This is an attack on Leeds, on our way of life and our vibrant communities. If we let it, this incident can bring people together rather than divide them.