Irish Republican News · October 22, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Craigavon racists put Mosque in doubt

Despite winning planning permission, Muslims in Craigavon have delayed building the first mosque in the Six Counties amid increased racist attacks in the town.

Last week a young Muslim woman and her four children were forced from their home by stone-throwing youths.

Up to 10 families have fled Craigavon after suffering racial abuse.

In July this year a Muslim man, his wife and their two children left the North for a secret location after a gang of up to 10 men wielding baseball bats smashed up their home.

Days earlier the housing estate where they lived had been leafleted by the extreme right-wing White Nationalist Party.

The family's car was also sabotaged, causing a wheel to come off while they were driving on the motorway.

The council's condemnation of such incidents came after Ulster Unionist councillor Fred Crowe was reprimanded by his party leader David Trimble for claiming that ``Christianity is the enemy of the Muslim''.

Meanwhile, the home of a Swedish family in Armagh was attacked on Tuesday night. No one was injured in the gun attack that occurred around midnight.

It has been suggested that because this family are Swedish then some sort of racial motive is behind the attack.

Local SF councillor Pat O'Rawe was bemused.

``All enquires that I have made regarding this have drawn a blank. There have been no recorded cases of xenophobia in this part of the town and I am off the opinion that is not the case now.

``But the uncertainty of the motive aside I would be very critical of those responsible for this shooting. Thankfully no one was injured but the disastrous consequences of such an attack is all too apparent.''

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© 2003 Irish Republican News