City rallies round Mosque as cops explore link to other attacks

Emergency services at the Giles Lane Mosque

People have come out in a show of solidarity with the Canterbury Mosque after yesterday’s powder attack.

Emergency services raced to the Giles Lane building at lunchtime after Imam Ihsan Khan opened a package and was covered in a substance believed to have been itching powder.

He was treated by paramedics while police are now exploring the possibility that the attack is connected to incidents in Maidstone and Gravesend.

A hate letter is believed to have been included in the envelope sent to the Canterbury Mosque.

“Kent Police is investigating the possibility that three letters sent to Mosques on May 2, 2018 are linked,” a force spokesman said.

“At 12.23pm officers received a report that a suspicious letter containing white powder had been sent to a Mosque in Giles Lane, Canterbury.

“The area was cordoned off and no injuries were reported. The powder was tested and it transpired to be a harmless substance.

“A similar report was received at 3.10pm at a Mosque in Mote Road, Maidstone. Officers are also investigating the delivery of an offensive letter to a Mosque in Gravesend. No white powder was contained in the letter. Enquiries are ongoing.”

People in the city have come out in support of the Mosque and its worshippers.

Writing on the Canterbury Residents Group Facebook page, Eddie Vortex said: “After the appalling attack on a Canterbury institution is there anybody who would like to join me in supporting our local Mosque?

“I’m thinking a hands around the Mosque type thing along with a family type picnic this weekend in the area around Canterbury’s Mosque?

“Only when community stands together can we beat those who wish to rip community apart.”

Diane Goodman added: “The only faith this is about is faith in humanity and showing concern for others which is beautiful attribute.

“It’s a shame not everyone is like this as what a better world we would live in if they were. What a lovely idea, Eddie Vortex.”

Following the Giles Lane incident, the Canterbury Muslim Community described the incident as attempt to “terrorise Muslims”.

It read: “Following a serious attempt to attack the masjid [Mosque] and in particular the Imam Ihsan Khan the masjid has been evacuated and closed for now with police cars and tapes on both ends of the route.

“No one is allowed to enter the masjid so please make it easy for the police and let them do their job.

“This failed attempt to terrorise the Muslim Community will not prevent Muslims from practising Islam freely in Canterbury.

“Insha’Allah the perpetrator will be caught by the police and punished according to the law.”


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