Met chief calls for calm after fire at Islamic boarding school in Chislehurst

 

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has made an impassioned plea for unity after a fire in an Islamic boarding school in south-east London three days after a fire at a community centre in Muswell Hill, north London.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe described the latest attack as symptomatic of "difficult times for London's communities". He added: "We should not allow the murder of Lee Rigby to come between Londoners. The unified response we have seen to his death across all communities will triumph over those who seek to divide us."

Sir Bernard said there would be 24-hour security in certain sites across London, including mosques, synagogues and Islamic centres.

The move came after two people were treated for smoke inhalation at the Darul Uloom school in Chislehurst after a fire broke out on Saturday night. Sayed Mahmood, a spokesman for the school, said the intruders were caught on security cameras. "We are part of the British community and are deeply saddened by the events," he said.

The school's principal Mustafa Musa said the fire was started in the teaching area but did not say whether those responsible broke into the building. Firefighters were called and the blaze was under control within an hour.

Darul Uloom, a £3,000-a-year, boys' boarding school, was established in 1988. Students wear salwar kameez and skull caps, typical of Pakistan, and study a mixture of the national curriculum and Islamic studies.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson described the fire as "shocking". He said on Twitter: "We will come down v hard on those set on endangering life. Police will do everything to bring culprits to justice."

On Wednesday, firefighters were called to al-Rahma Islamic Centre, a community centre mainly used by children, in Muswell Hill, in north London. The building caught fire in the early hours of the morning. Police said, the letters "EDL" were found sprayed on the side of the building.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea