By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – A building near a mosque in south London was vandalized with Islamophobic slogans, British police said on Thursday.
Officers attended the building near the North Brixton Islamic Cultural Centre after reports of "anti-Islamic slogans" on a building’s walls.
“Disgusted to hear that Islamophobic slogans have been spray-painted near the North Brixton Islamic Centre,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote on Twitter.
He said the Metropolitan Police worked with Lambeth Council to have them removed, “but let me be clear: all prejudice is cowardly and criminals will face the full force of the law.”
Miqdaad Versi, from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said it was "worrying to hear about this racist incident."
Islamophobic incidents have risen significantly following the terror attacks in London and Manchester in 2017 and they were fuelled further due to a number of factors, such as Brexit and the proliferation of far-right groups spreading misconceptions about immigration and faith.
The issue was a hot pre-election debate as the MCB, the U.K.’s largest Muslim body, many times urged the Conservative Party leadership to tackle the issue of Islamophobia within the party and investigate Tories accused of it.
Islamophobic comments by Tory party members and councilors were found online, with some calling for the bombing of mosques, and others making racist comments about Khan and Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged an investigation into any hate crimes and racist incidents in his party before the Dec. 12 election, with which he had a landslide victory and the majority in the House of Commons.
Johnson was previously accused of Islamophobia when he compared women who wear Islamic garb to “bank robbers and letter boxes.”
His comments triggered a national outcry, but an internal Conservative investigation cleared him of wrongdoing.