24 February 2011 – The East London Mosque Trust extends its sympathy to religious education teacher Gary Smith, who was brutally attacked by four men in Mile End last summer. His attackers now face jail, after pleading guilty to the crime this week.

It is reported that the men had objected to Mr Smith’s teaching of religion to female Muslim pupils, at the Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow, east London.

“This horrendous attack on teacher Gary Smith by young thugs was all the more shocking because they made religion an excuse,” said Dilowar Khan, Executive Director of the East London Mosque. “Their abhorrent actions are entirely contrary to the teachings of Islam.”

“We extend our best wishes to Mr Smith for a full recovery. The perpetrators should reflect on the shame they have brought to themselves, their families and their communities.”

The East London Mosque has been working for many years with the police, Tower Hamlets Council and the local Interfaith Forum to deal with incidents of crime and in particular faith-hate crimes.