A Muslim man disgusted by the three crosses atop of Chadwell Heath Baptist Church in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, decided to rip off the crosses from the church building on Sunday. Not along after a church service had been held and while parishioners were still in the building.
In broad daylight some time before 2.40pm the incensed and enraged man can be seen placing his coat over the cross and levering ot till it snaps and is removed from the roof of the church.
After the cross cracks and is dislodged he later throws the cross to the street in an act that was both dangerous and laced with religious hatred. Here is video released by Scarcity Studios:
Police officers who arrived on the scene at around 2.40pm after being contact by many concerned residents then arrested Yusuf Allwali (19 yrs) who is a former resident of Basildon and is now of no-fixed abode.
In a press release, Barking and Dagenham Police wrote:
“We are aware of a video circulating on social media of a male causing damage to a religious premises on High Road, Chadwell Heath.
“A male has been arrested and the matter is being investigated.
“Any witnesses please call 101 quote cad 4071/18OCT. 323EA.”
On Monday the church issued a statement:
“The person seen was not part of our church. We are thankful no one was hurt and do not want this to affect our ministry.
“We continue to pray for everyone in Chadwell Heath and will do our best to serve the community now and in the future.”
Initially Yusuf was charged with criminal damage but after more careful consideration a charge of racially aggravated Criminal Damage was heard at Barkingside Magistrates Court, yesterday.
Magistrates were advised by the clerk of the court that die to the racial undertones they would not under the jurisdiction of magistrates courts to make a decision due to the sentencing and nature of the offence.
The prosecution have maintained that there have been ongoing concerns regarding Yusuf, though he himself has not yet submitted a plea and simply gave his name and address to the court.
Leading Magistrate Gillian Seabright advised Yusuf that he would be remanded in custody and that the case would now be heard at the Crown Court. The next hearing is scheduled for 18th November at Snaresbrook Crown Court. BACA will have a representative there to see how this case develops.
Many local people feel that the crime is an act of hatred or terrorism and have expressed fear at the increasing extremism in the east London Area. Yet at no point in the investigation have police used the term hate crime or terrorist act.
The Church seems sympathetic to the young man and have stated that they believe the violent attack was based on mental illness, rather than religious hatred. However, the man did climb onto the roof of the church and rip down a cross (most known symbol for Christianity) in what would seem a very premeditated attack.
In 2017, it was discovered that a gym in Ilford, was a training centre for the Jihadi trio of attackers involved in the London Bridge Terror attack (Click here)
The same year, in Ilford, a man who had left Islam complained of persecution (click here)
In 2019, The Independent wrote about the regrowth of al-Muhajiroun an extremist group founded by Anjem Choudary (click here)
Joel Kyari a trustee for BACA, said:
“The frequency of extremist acts in the UK is alarming.
“There is clear evidence of an increase of the subscribers to fundamental Islam and that is dangerous.
“With the police distracted by COVID-19 breaches and regular crime which has increased since the lockdown was eased, has left Britain vulnerable to Islamic extremism.
“Though the forcible removal of a cross from a church can be regarded as a minor issue, it resonates with evil malice.
“Left unchecked the hatred will grow and result in a proliferation in acts of violence and terrorism and will polarise our relatively peaceful communities.
“The prevent strategy is not working and a more robust system to discourage and prevent extremism is needed to bring peace to our nation.”