CUMBERNAULD – A shocking anti-Islamic graffiti inspired by the Crusades, frequently used by members of the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement, was sprayed during the weekend at the walls of a local mosque in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, in an attack investigated a hate crime.
“The graffiti has been sprayed on two of the walls and was noticed this morning,” Azhar Din, a trustee of the Islamic Education Trust Cumbernauld, which runs the mosque, told Herald Scotland on Saturday, December 17.
He added that several CCTV cameras cover the building and the footage is currently being examined by the police.
“We have involved the police. We’re going through the CCTV and have quite a few cameras around the place.”
The words “Saracen go home” and “Deus Vult”, a Latin term meaning God Willing, were spray painted on the walls of the mosque in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, overnight.
The vandalism is thought to have occurred between 8.30pm on Friday and 7.30am on Saturday.
Officers said they are treating the incident as a hate crime.
“We can confirm that an investigation is under way following an act of vandalism at the Islamic Education Trust (mosque) in Cumbernauld and inquiries are continuing,” Police Scotland said.
“This matter is being treated as a hate crime.
“Hate crime remains a priority for Police Scotland and we are working closely with our criminal justice partners to do everything in our power to protect all communities and eradicate all forms of hatred.”
Din said he believed the attack is an “isolated incident”, adding that the local community has been supportive ever since the mosque opened more than three years ago.
“We have had a few isolated incidents – we’ve had windows broken and stones thrown – but nothing major. We have isolated incidents which happen when something kicks off in the news but we have more or less been quite fortunate and people have generally been supportive,” he said.
“We’ve had open days and lots of visits from people interested in seeing the inside of a mosque.
“At the moment we see the graffiti as an isolated incident.”
Scotland has about 75,000 Muslims. About 40% of them live in Glasgow.
Muslims are the second largest religious group in the country, which has around thirty mosques.