Oxford: CCTV released after petrol can thrown at mosque

Police have released CCTV images after a petrol can was thrown into the car park of a mosque.

Thames Valley Police said the empty red petrol can was hurled over a wall into the Oxford Mosque and Islamic Cultural Society on 28 October.

It was thrown from near the main entrance by a cyclist who is believed to have ridden from Cowley Road.

Police said the cyclist captured on CCTV "may have important information" about the hate crime.

The petrol can had writing on it that "may be related to the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza", police said. No-one was injured.


Supt Bruce Riddell said: "I would like to appeal to anyone who recognises the individual in these images or anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident and may have dash-cam footage, to please get in touch as they may have vital information about the incident.

"As part of our investigation, we are working with the mosque and local community to reassure them of their safety following this unacceptable hate crime incident, as well as conducting further patrols in the area.

"We are aware of some local concerns that this incident is being treated as terrorism. I would like to clarify and reassure people that this is not the case."

He added: "All reports of hate crime are taken seriously as we know that they have a significant impact on individual victims and targeted communities.

"Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all other racial and faith-based discrimination will not be tolerated in any form."

In a statement posted on social media after the incident, the mosque said it believed the attack was due to "us showing our unwavering support for the innocent people of Palestine by displaying Palestinian flags around our mosque".

Imam Jamil Khan Al Azhari said: "We wouldn't expect such a thing from this community of Oxford, so that was shocking."

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