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Muslim graves at a cemetery in Oldham have been desecrated, in what police believe was racially motivated attack.
Grave markers and headstones were damaged and flowers trampled on.
Councillor Jean Stretton, Deputy Council Leader, said: “We take reports of this nature very seriously and are working as hard and as fast as we can to get to the bottom of this matter.
“We are making every attempt possible to contact those who may have been affected by this. If anyone has any information please contact the police.
Ralph Blunsom went to the cemetery to speak to members of the Muslim community affected by the attack.
A Muslim community has spoken of their disgust after vandals carried out an attack at a cemetery.
Police say that headstones were uprooted, flowers were trampled on and memorials were kicked over in a ‘heinous and senseless’ crime in the Muslim section of Chadderton Cemetery.
Abdul Chaudhary Wahad, a volunteer at Al-Madina Mosque in Oldham, said: “This has upset the community. It doesn’t matter who is buried here, Muslim or not. This cemetery is for everyone in Oldham.
“A lot of people, including me, are here every day. My wife is buried here. I’ve never seen anything like this here before. This has hurt us.
“I’m very angry. I want the council to put some cameras here.”
Sgt Jon Martin, from Greater Manchester Police, has described the attack of Muslim graves in Chadderton as 'senseless vandalism'.
He said: “The exact motive for this heinous and senseless vandalism is unclear, but given that only the Muslim section of the cemetery was targeted it has to be treated as being racially motivated. That makes this vandalism even more sickening, as the culprits have singled out the resting places of those who have lost their lives purely because of their religion. This is not just wanton racism but the deliberate, calculating and cruel act of desecrating the memories of Muslims who are buried at the cemetery."
He continued: “The distress this has caused to the families who have loved ones buried here is immeasurable. It is not just the vandalism itself, which can be repaired, but the thought of someone trashing what should be a place of sanctity and tranquillity for those who have lost their lives purely because of their religion.
Vandals have desecrated a number of Muslim graves in the Chadderton Cemetery in Chadderton.
The graves were targeted sometime between 8.30pm on 15 August 2014 and 7.30pm the following day.
Police were called to the cemetery by the distraught loved one of a woman buried within the Muslim section of the cemetery.
Officers attended and found up to 10 graves had been damaged, and as no other graves other than those in the Muslim section had been targeted, police are treating the vandalism as racially motivated.
Wooden grave markers and headstones were uprooted from four adjoining graves, one of which had a brass plaque ripped from the headstone itself.
Police are now appealing to anyone who has information about the vandalism to come forward.