Surrey

Horley mosque attack: Call for citizenship classes

A Muslim politician in Surrey has called for citizenship classes to be reinstated in schools after his local mosque was desecrated.

Vandals threw eggs and alcohol at an Islamic centre in Horley as 400 people prayed inside.

Imran Khan, of the Conservative Muslim Forum, said lessons to prevent hatred should return to the curriculum.

Surrey Police said it recorded 200 crimes with a racial connection in the first half of the year.

Mr Khan, a former borough councillor, said: "What I can see from this is a clear opportunity to re-engage these people with the broader Horley community, and I think the best place to tackle this problem is within the schooling system.

"I think the citizenship education programme which is being taken out by Michael Gove [Education Secretary] should be reinstated."

'Appalling'

The racist attack on the mosque on the corner of the High Street and Yattendon Road took place early on Sunday morning as night-time prayers were held during Ramadan.

Offensive graffiti was scrawled across the front door and alcohol - which is forbidden for Muslims - thrown inside.

Mr Khan said it was not just an attack against the Muslim community but also against the entire community of Horley.

"This is a social, shared community space for local residents so actually it's all the more appalling for that fact," he said.

Sgt Simon Ward, from Surrey Police, said the Islamic community was "deeply upset" by events.

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