Updated: Thursday, 2nd April 2020 @ 8:03pm

'Sickening': Racist yobs target Muslim graves in 'heinous' act of vandalism at Chadderton cemetery

'Sickening': Racist yobs target Muslim graves in 'heinous' act of vandalism at Chadderton cemetery

| By Stefan Mackley

Racist yobs have carried out a ‘heinous and senseless’ act of vandalism on Muslim graves in a cemetery in Chadderton.

Up to ten graves were targeted, all of which had been in the Muslim section, between 8.30pm on August 15 and 7.30pm the following day.

Police were called to the scene by the distraught loved one of a woman buried within the Muslim section of the cemetery, leading officers to believe the attack was racially motivated.

Police Sergeant Jon Martin 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.”

Two large floral tributes were smashed and trampled on and flowers from a further four were kicked over.

Wooden grave markers and headstones were also uprooted from four adjoining graves, one of which had a brass plaque ripped from the headstone itself.

There was also evidence to suggest someone had walked directly over a recent grave.

Police are now appealing to anyone who has information about the vandalism to come forward.

Sergeant Martin added: “We need to find the culprits, who may very well live in the local area, so I am appealing to the community for help in identifying them. If you suspect who may be involved then please call us.

“I would also ask people to search their consciences and if you know who is responsible, do the right thing and call us. How would you feel if it was your loved one's grave that was vandalised in this way?

“Think of the anguish you would feel and imagine how the victims are feeling right now.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 68814, 0161 856 8915 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Image courtesy of Herry Lawford, with thanks.