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Muslim School Fire Raises UK Concerns

Police described the school fire as “suspicious”

Source : OnIslam & Newspapers / 10 June 2013

A new fire that gutted a leading Muslim school in south-east London is raising concerns in Britain, which comes days after the blaze of an Islamic center in the British capital.

"It's obviously something to be concerned about and we need to find out more about it,” Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, told the BBC News Online.

"I've spoken to the police and fire and they are investigating.”

"It's too early to jump to conclusions and they need to check out the cause.”

A fire gutted the Darul Uloom Islamic school in Foxbury Avenue in south-east London on Saturday, June 8.

London Fire Brigade said there was minor damage to the building and 21 firefighters tackled the blaze.

“Two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation; they were not taken to hospital,”a police spokesman said.

“There was minor damage to the building. Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the fire. At this early stage it is being treated as suspicious.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police asked for "members of the public to remain calm and not to speculate as to the cause of the fire."

Police said there was also an increased police presence around "potentially vulnerable locations" across London to provide reassurance.

Pupils and staff were able to return to the school building on Sunday morning.

Today, the school said they did not want to comment yet and were “dealing with the parents”.

The £3,000-a-year boarding school was established in 1988 with the purpose of producing “great scholars and Huffaz (people who have memorized the Qur’an) to preserve and transmit the eternal message of Allah”.

“The institution helps children to explore and develop their Islamic identity as a natural part of their mental, emotional and personal development,”the website says.

“The school aims to prepare Muslim students to be good Muslims and responsible citizens; to embed in the student a sense of discipline; to enable them to grow up to become upright, respectable and worthy citizens of their respective countries.”


Police described the school fire as “suspicious”.

"Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the fire. At this early stage it is being treated as suspicious,"the police said in a statement on Sunday, saying they had made no arrests so far.

The fire follows a suspected arson attack on an Islamic centre in north London last Wednesday.

Initials of the far-right English Defence League was found scrawled on the side of that building.

The arsons are the latest in a series of attacks against Muslims and their worship places in the wake of a machete killing of an army soldier by two converts in Woolwich last month.

Some 212 “anti-Muslim incidents” have been reported since the May 22 killing, according to Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks in Britain.

The figure included 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti-Muslim sentiments.

Britain is home of a Muslim community of nearly 2.7 million.

A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.

A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.


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