Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Racist graffiti attack at Moray mosque condemned by community

Lansana Bangura, chairman of Elgin Mosque, stands with some of the graffiti.
Lansana Bangura, chairman of Elgin Mosque, stands with some of the graffiti.

Vandals have carried out an “abhorrent attack” on a Moray mosque.

Swastikas and other offensive graffiti were spray-painted across three walls and several windows of the Elgin place of worship.

Swastikas were sprayed on the outside of the mosque.

Locals arriving for evening prayers during Ramadan were met by the “racist vandalism”.

Police have said they will step up patrols in the area, and have revealed they are hunting for man in his 30s who was seen in the area when the incident occurred at about 11pm on Monday.

Last night, leaders from the Elgin and District Islamic Mosque thanked the community for their support, and stressed they were treating it as an isolated incident.

Chairman Lansana Bangura revealed he arrived at the South Street building for evening prayers just minutes after it is suspected the vandal daubed the offensive slogans on the walls.

Yesterday, the retired engineer who lives in Garmouth said he had not seen anything like it since moving to the region 30 years ago.

He added: “It was dark so I didn’t notice it when I arrived. Then the police knocked on the door at about 11.25pm and showed me. It was very surprising, not what I expected to see.

“We still feel comfortable in Elgin and everywhere else because we are spread across Moray.

“If somebody really wanted to make us uncomfortable then they would have started smashing windows and everything else – so we still feel quite happy and relaxed, people have been very supportive.”

Another member of the congregation said: “This is terrible. We’ve never have had anything like this happen, I wouldn’t have expected it to happen here.”

Graffiti was sprayed on several walls at the mosque.

Cleaning teams sent to the mosque by Moray Council blasted the offensive graffiti off the walls yesterday morning.

The mosque opened about five years ago to give the local Muslim community a focal point in Elgin. Halls were previously rented for prayers.

Police have appealed for anyone who saw a man in his 30s, who is about 5ft 10ins, in the area at the time. He has short brown hair and was wearing blue jeans and a dark hooded top.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, whose constituency office is next to the mosque, condemned the vandals.

He said: “I was disgusted and saddened to hear of the vandalism. This is an abhorrent attack on our local Muslim community in this month of Ramadan.

“It is more important than ever that we all stand together and speak out against such senseless and racist vandalism.”

Detective Inspector Martin MacDougall added: “Crimes of this nature are completely unacceptable.

“There is absolutely no place for it in our community and a number of inquiries are ongoing to establish who is responsible.

“We are in contact with the mosque and patrols will be increased in the area while our investigation continues.”

Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “The strong community bond in Moray will not be damaged by the reckless and thoughtless actions of a mindless individual or small group of individuals.”

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said: “While this incident should not be allowed to damage the relationship between the mosque and the local community in Elgin, it is entirely understandable that this will be a worrying incident for those who use the mosque.”

Anyone with information should call 101.

Already a subscriber? Sign in