VILE racist graffiti has been plastered across a wall outside a Southend mosque, leaving the Imam “shaken and devastated”.

On Tuesday morning, the words “f*** off” followed by a racial slur were painted on a wall outside Southend Mosque, in West Road, Westcliff. 

After the incident, mosque imam Iftikhar Ul Haque called for people to stand united against hate and slammed anyone involved.

He said: “At 8am, I saw the appalling graffiti on the mosque's brick wall, leaving me shaken and devastated.

Echo: Disgusting - graffitiDisgusting - graffiti (Image: Aston Line)

“The community is hurt by what’s happened, and we request the wider community to unite to demonstrate intolerance for such acts. 

“It’s shocking, and something needs to be done to halt this.

Echo: Building - Southend MosqueBuilding - Southend Mosque (Image: Google Maps)

"All community councillors from the Labour Party joined visited us and express support.

"They visited us, reassured the community, and we have full support from police in addressing the issue. 

"We would like to thank every supporter."

The incident has been reported to Essex Police. 

Aston Line, Westborough ward Labour councillor, headed to the mosque to help with the clean-up.

Mr Line has raised concerns that both Muslim and Jewish communities in Southend have seen a spike in hate crime since Hamas’ attacks on Israel and their response.

Echo: Horrified - Aston LineHorrified - Aston Line (Image: Southend Council)

He said: “I was horrified and deeply saddened to see this repugnant racist graffiti painted onto Southend Mosque, and I’m sure the whole community will be feeling this way too.

“Our Jewish and Muslim communities have seen a significant spike in hate crime since the October 7 terrorist attacks, and the situation in the middle east has fuelled tensions domestically and as a direct result of that, it has increased anti-Semitic and racially motivated attacks.

“Our city is proudly home to many diverse communities, meaning we must all stand united against all forms of hate, and people need to realise Southend has a diverse and rich community, and we simply won’t put up with it.

“I have faith in our police to take this issue seriously, and in the age of personal doorbell cameras and CCTV, I think we’ve got a really good chance of catching culprits who think it is okay to do this and, hopefully, it will help to stop these sorts of hate crimes.

“There is no place for it in Southend.”

Chief inspector Jo Collins said: “Hate crime is a priority for Essex Police and will not be tolerated. 

“We are treating this incident as a hate crime and, although we have not seen a significant spike in hate crime in recent months, one incident is one too many.

“We work hard to protect the safety and freedoms of our communities, and we won’t tolerate hate crime, in any form of abuse, in Southend or anywhere across our county.

“We work closely with our Essex partners to take robust action against hate crimes and to ensure that hate crime offenders are brought to justice.”