Iranian denies attacking five Birmingham mosques

27th Sep 2019

Elham Asaad Buaras

An Iranian man has denied causing at least £11,500 of damage to five mosques that had their doors and windows smashed on March 21.

Arman Rezazadeh appeared at Birmingham magistrates court on September 12, pleading not guilty to five charges of racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage committed. The 34-year-old was previously detained under the Mental Health Act but is now considered fit enough to be charged.

At the time, then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, called the vandalism “deeply concerning and distressing.” MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood, said the attacks were “truly terrible.”

A district judge was told the charges related to damage to the Witton Islamic Centre, the al-Habib Trust and the Jamia Masjid Ghausia, all in the Aston area, as well as the Masjid Madrassa Faizul Islam in Perry Barr and the Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef in Erdington.

Rezazadeh, of Handsworth in Birmingham, spoke only to indicate his pleas, state his address and confirm his nationality as Iranian.

Investigators said the vandalism in Birmingham was not terror-related nor motivated by right-wing extremism.

“West Midlands Police have conducted a thorough investigation and continue to work in partnership with mosques around the West Midlands to offer reassurance to our communities,” a spokesperson added.

The defendant was granted bail to appear at Birmingham crown court for a further hearing on October 10.

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