1. ITV Report

The views of one Islamic community in Greater Manchester

Astley Street Mosque in Bolton was the scene of anti-Islamic graffiti yesterday Photo: ITV Granada

Astley Street Mosque is a simple, unassuming building, tucked away in a tight row of terraced houses in Bolton. Only a steady stream of locals attending Friday Prayer reveal its identity.

It's one of the smallest of its kind in an area where there are more Mosques than Churches. Three can be reached in a matter of a few minutes walk.

Attendants here tell me its size and location are what they love best about this place - it makes for a tight-knit, friendly congregation. But on Wednesday, its greatest assest became its greatest weakness. Twenty-four hours after the death of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, the building here was attacked, its walls graffitied with slurs of "Islam = Evil", and a car sprayed red with the words "Terrorist Inside".Its owner had actually been inside the mosque attending evening prayers.

"I went around to the back and my car - there were things written like 'terrorist inside' 'Islamic evil' and things like that," Imran Komal told me.

"This is a mixed community where there's a lot of white people, black people, Asian people all living together, and we all get on very well."

As Imran and the others attended Friday Prayers, the presence of a journalist and a cameraman wanting to 'gauge the mood' was clearly invoking frustration, a definite sense of 'here we go again'.

People who are terrorists should be behind bars, we want to get rid of people like that, we're no different.

Not only because, once again, people here feel the actions of a few require the condemnation of the many, but frustration also at the mere thought that their mood would be any different to another community observing the brutal murder of a British solder.

"We do feel stereotyped and patronised," one man told me.

"As citizens of this country we don't agree with what's happened, clearly. The mood here is the same as anywhere else, but at the back of our minds there is fear of hate crimes against us.

"We want to love each other, not hate, we all live in the same place, we just want things to be normal."

Imran Komal's car at the back of Astley Street Mosque Credit: ITV Granada

Another man told me that he, like everyone else in Britain, found out about the attack "on television, on the radio, through the media, we know no more than anyone else out there.

"The message is always the same - Islam condemns terrorism. People who are terrorists should be behind bars, we want to get rid of people like that, we're no different."

We attempted to film inside the mosque. The gentlemen we spoke to were friendly and approachable, but said now was not the time.

We were told by several men leaving the mosque that they had been told not to talk to the media, an attempt they suggested to avoid breathing life into the narrative that all British Muslims must been seen to publicly denounce acts of terror.

In truth, that was is one the reasons we arrived with our camera - to see what Muslims in our region make of what happened in Woolwich. The men our cameras captured could not have been further removed from the images seen on our television screens on Wednesday.

But the increasingly frustrated, exhausted response here in Bolton, is why on earth wouldn't they be?

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