Man arrested after mosque vandalised with racist graffiti in Preston

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MANCHESTER: A 47-year-old man has been arrested after a mosque in Lancashire was vandalised with racist graffiti three days in a row. The Masjid-e-Salaam in Preston was first targeted on Good Friday, when abuse was scrawled on the gateposts at the entrance in Watling Street.

It was cleaned away before the main prayers but further offensive writing appeared on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Having launched a hate crime investigation, Lancashire Constabulary arrested the man from Preston on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage on Sunday afternoon, the Independent has reported.

The suspect has since been assessed and sectioned under the Mental Health Act. “I would like to reassure people, especially worshippers in the area, that we are taking this extremely seriously,” said Chief Inspector Gary Crowe.

 “There have now been three reports in a matter of days and this is understandably causing a lot of upset and concern in the local community. This is completely unacceptable, hateful vandalism and this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated”, he added.

The mosque’s official Twitter account had posted photographs of the original graffiti on Friday, adding: “Our Mosque is open for all and do not harbour any evil for those who wish otherwise.”