Search

London riots: Mosque worshippers ward off gangs as they ambush Whitechapel Road

PUBLISHED: 16:39 09 August 2011 | UPDATED: 15:09 10 August 2011

Stewards and worshippers warded off rioters during last night's mayhem

Stewards and worshippers warded off rioters during last night's mayhem

Archant

Worshippers confronted with chaotic scenes as they left the Whitechapel mosque last night chased off rioters and formed a protective cluster to stop thugs from entering the building.

Hundreds of Muslims from across Tower Hamlets and beyond were leaving the East London Mosque after evening prayers when violent mobs struck the area at around 10pm.

While women and children were ushered back into the mosque, a hardcore of worshippers confronted the gangs as they attacked shops and buildings on Whitechapel Road.

A ten-minute standoff ensued, with rioters attempting to mingle in the with the crowds in a bid to hide themselves as riot police closed in on the area.

Salman Farsi, the mosque’s communication chief who was witnessed the scenes, said: “Worshippers chased them away. There was a lot of shouting. A missile was hurled towards direction of mosque and the atmosphere was very tense.

“I don’t think any member of our community is going to stand for vandalism. We’re going to stand here united.

“Our mosque volunteers and stewards were calming people and guiding them back into the mosque. We advised young people to keep away from the riots and go straight home after prayers.”

Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, visited the area today and said she was told by shopkeepers and residents that they believed the rioters had come from other boroughs to cause trouble.

She said: “The worshippers must have been very frightened. Everyone is adamant these people are not going to divide our community. The rioters tried to enter the mosque with the intention of causing damage and the worshippers stood firmly against them.”

Whitechapel Road, Bethnal Green Road and Roman Road saw the worst of the damage with shops looted and windows smashed in.

Tower Hamlets Police said five officers were injured in the riots, which started at around 10pm.

Latest East London News Stories

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Detectives have charged a man with murder following a double stabbing in Bow Common that left a 60-year-old dead.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Almost 900 teachers in Tower Hamlets would lose their jobs if changes to the way schools are funded go ahead, it has been claimed today.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A 47-year-old woman has been arrested in east London on suspicion of terrorism, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A rapist who attacked a woman in Victoria Park, telling her she was lucky he hadn’t filmed it, just hours before he married his pregnant fiancée has been jailed for life.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A charter drawn up by local authorities in east London to curb child obesity and reduce sugar in foods on public sale has been signed first by Tower Hamlets Council.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The 39th Altab Ali Day in memory of the Bangladeshi textile worker who was murdered in a racist attack in Whitechapel will take place next week.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Detectives investigating the murder in east London of a 60-year-old man in a double stabbing at Bow Common have identified him as Keith Sinclair.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Families feeling the squeeze on social housing have begun a petition calling for a ‘trade off’ with developers who they fear are ‘encroaching’ on one of the last pockets of the working class.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now