[Vandals used white paint to write “Lee Rigby murder” “white power” and drew swastikas on four gravestones at Christchurch Cemetery, Newport on June 29.]
By Elham Asaad Buaras
Muslim cemetery at a Newport cemetery were desecrated with racist graffiti on June 29.
The vandals used white paint to write “Lee Rigby murder” “white power” and drew swastikas on four gravestones at Christchurch Cemetery.
They also wrote the initials of the BNP, UKIP and the National Front.
“I’m appealing to the Muslim community for calm and not to react in a negative or violent way to this evil incident,” said Mubarak Ali, Secretary of the Islamic Society for Wales.
The grave of Ali’s relative, Sardar Ali, was one of those vandalised.
“What happened to Lee Rigby was evil, wicked. It was caused by extremists – they don’t represent the mainstream or vast majority of Muslims.”
He added: “Obviously, people are really angry and upset, but we must remember it is a small minority of idiots who did this.
“Most people in Newport get on very well, from all different backgrounds and it’s only the small minority that spoils it for the others.”
Superintendent of Newport cemeteries, Charles Dare, said there are six Muslim plots in St Woolos cemeteries and apart from an incident 20 years ago when the headstones were pushed over, nothing like this has happened before.
In a statement to The Muslim News a spokesman for Council said its graffiti team has removed the graffiti that was done on four gravestones at Christchurch cemetery. “The graffiti was done with emulsion so it has not been too difficult to remove as it didn’t penetrate the stonework.”
Muslim Council of Wales (MCW) Secretary General, Saleem Kidwai, told The Muslim News they were “distressed on finding out about the graffiti” but were “relieved to see the swift and quick action taken by the police and the local council.”
He added: “We in Wales are very lucky that we work very closely with the authority and all the communities and stand firm against those ideologues who wish to sow the seeds of hatred.”