Vandals sprayed Islamophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti including “Islam must die” and large swastikas on the walls of a university campus and mosque in Birmingham.
The offensive message were sprayed in black paint on the red brick wall of the University of Birmingham, in Edgbaston, student newspaper The Tab Birmingham reported.
Police believe the incident is linked with another incident of Islamophobic graffiti that was daubed on Jalalabad Trust Mosque – less than a mile away from the campus in Selly Oak – as the graffiti appears to be similar, a spokeswoman for West Midlands Police confirmed today.
The graffiti, which has been removed from both sites, is thought to have been sprayed some time between Friday evening and yesterday morning. Police are now investigating the case and reviewing CCTV footage to catch the culprit.
West Midlands Police urged witnesses who saw anyone spraying the words and the symbol associated with the Nazis on the side of the Psychology building to come forward.
Sergeant Pete Sandhu said: “Mindless hate of this kind has no place in 21st century Birmingham and work is underway to find the person responsible.”
Second-year student Hannah Sharron wrote in an open letter to the vandals: “You will not force Jewish students off campus. You will not intimidate Muslim students. You will not disrespect the memories of every minority persecuted under the Nazi regime, for whom any adjective – vile, disgusting, horrible – seems too mild.”
In pictures: Anti-Pegida protesters
In pictures: Anti-Pegida protesters
A police officer talks to a counterprotestor at the sidelines of right-wing movement 'Baergida' (Berlin Patriots against the islamization of the Occident), a Berlin version of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the Occident), protest in Berlin
Participants of right-wing movement 'Baergida' (Berlin Patriots against the islamization of the Occident), a Berlin version of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the Occident), protest in Berlin
People protest against right-wing initiative Pegida with a sign reading 'Stop agitation against Islam' in Berlin
Participants of the 'Alliance against Racism' demonstrate against right-wing initiative Pegida (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the Occident) in Berlin. Counterdemonstrations against racism and xenophobia have been planned in Dresden, Berlin, Cologne and Stuttgart. The demonstrations staged by the anti-Islamic Pegida movement produce a series of slogans arguing that Germany is taking in too many foreigners, that the social structures are about to collapse due to the rising number of asylum-seekers, and that there is the threat of an 'Islamisation of the Occident'
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas takes part in a protest against the march of a grass-roots anti-Muslim movement in Berlin. The rise of the group, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida), has shaken Germany's political establishment
The lighting of the Brqandenburg Gate was switched off to make a statement against racism as People protest against right-wing initiative Pegida in Berlin
A left wing activist struggles with the riot police during a protest against a planed march of the Pegida movement in their first Berlin demonstration, which they have dubbed 'Baergida'
People protest against right-wing initiative Pegida in Hamburg
People protest against right-wing initiative Pegida in Munich
People protest against right-wing initiative Pegida in Stuttgart
Fiyaz Mughal from organisation Tell MAMA UK (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) said of the graffiti: “This is appalling, where someone has the guts and chutzpah to place such a statement inferring that Islam must die on a university campus that has lots of Muslim students.
“If that is the case, one can easily infer that this person wants Muslims to be killed and was trying to put themselves outside of hate speech.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.