SHAFAQNA -Â In an apparent hate crime, several Muslim graves in a Nottingham cemetery have been vandalized in the wake of Tunisia terror attack, sparking condemnations from the British community.
â€œWe totally condemn what has taken place at High Wood cemetery. This irresponsible act of hatred achieves absolutely nothing,â€ Nottingham city council deputy leader, Graham Chapman, was quoted by the Guardian on Monday, June 29.
â€œWe will be increasing security at the cemetery and, although we cannot guarantee solving this hate crime, the council will be working with the police to do our utmost to track down the perpetrators.â€
Nottingham deputy leader condemned the desecration of Muslim graves at High Wood cemetery in Bulwell as an attempt to â€œdivideâ€ communities.
Plaques and decorative lights on at least 10 plots were damaged on Saturday evening, a day after the ISIL-claimed deadly attack in Tunisia.
At least 27 people died when gunmen opened fire on a seaside hotel in Tunisia, according to authorities.
The gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, has proclaimed his support for the ISIL militant group in video and image postings before the attack.
Distressed by the attack, Muslim families called for installing CCTV cameras at the Muslim graves to avert similar attacks in the future.
Described as “a despicable act”, many relatives gathered at the cemetery to clean up the mess and say prayers.
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire police stepped up patrols at the cemetery and other sites, as investigations went on to identify the vandals.
â€œThis type of offence is taken very seriously and a thorough investigation is being conducted,â€ police Chief Supt Mark Holland was quoted by Hucknall Dispatch.
â€œCriminal damage of this nature is obviously very upsetting for the families and we are working swiftly in our efforts to identify those responsible.
â€œNottinghamshire Police has been liaising closely with the Muslim community in Nottinghamshire since the events in Tunisia earlier this week and we have been in close contact following the reports of these events this morning.â€
He went on saying: â€œI am sure everyone in Nottinghamshire will be united in their condemnation of these actions and we would urge anyone who knows anything about this incident to contact Nottinghamshire Police immediately.â€
Stepping up security, Nottingham Council will be locking the cemetery gates to pedestrians at 5:30pm instead of keeping them open 24 hours a day.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million.
In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.
Responding to the statement â€œI am proud to be a British citizenâ€, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British.