Coventry & Warwickshire

Islamic community in Coventry moved by anonymous letter

The unsigned note given to Nafeesa Bhayat Image copyright Nafeesa Bhayat
Image caption The writer says she refuses 'to be at war with you, our brothers'

A "lovely" letter expressing solidarity with Muslims which was hand-delivered to a mosque left worshippers there "overwhelmed" and close to tears.

The anonymous note referred to an "air of tension in the UK", and said "not all of us white non Muslim folks are bigotted [sic] and small minded".

It was handed to Nafeesa Bhayat, 29, outside Masjid Al Falah Faith Group in Coventry.

She said the note's author passed her the message before giving her a hug.

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Ms Bhayat was collecting her children on Thursday evening when she was approached by the unknown woman, whose letter said she lived in the same road as the venue.

"She asked if I could give this note to the mosque leaders and said 'I just feel like hugging you all- can I hug you?' and then she gave me a hug and told me she stands with us and not to worry about anything."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The site outside which a woman offered hugs to people of Islamic faith

"As she was talking, I almost cried," added a "shocked" Mrs Bhayat, who said she had never personally experienced Islamophobia in the city.

Blame game

She said mosque leaders had personally wanted to thank the woman, but no contact details were taken.

Fellow mosque user, Haroon Mota, 31, said the "lovely" letter carried "a very powerful message and it was an overwhelming feeling".

"Sometimes in our community we're made to feel we should be apologetic, but we shouldn't apologise for people who don't represent us.

"There's so much negative news and headlines about Muslims, it's nice to see that people can see through this."

The note in full:

Dear All People of the Prayer Centre,

I am a resident of Sommerset [sic] Road and just wanted you to know that not all of us white non muslim folks are bigotted and small minded.

I know what a beautiful and peaceful religion yours is. I feel compelled to write to you to offer you my love, peace, and solidarity.

In these testing times please stay strong in your beliefs and know that anyone with even a small amount of intelligence does not equate your peaceful religion with terrorism.

I notice the current air of tension in the UK and people are always looking for a scapegoat, however a lot of us see through the blame game and refuse to be at war with you, our brothers.

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