“This is a hate crime and must be treated accordingly,” said Nicholl.
“While I have no doubt these flags represent a minority view, we all have a responsibility to robustly and unequivocally challenge these actions and those that hold such dangerous views. This act of intimidation does not represent the local community, or the city of Belfast, which is largely a friendly, inclusive, diverse and welcoming city.
“Sadly however we are seeing a growing trend of islamophobia in Northern Ireland, with the Belfast Multicultural Centre being victim to arson attacks twice in the last few years. My office is also seeing an increase in casework related to discrimination, intimidation and hate crimes, and we will continue to support victims in seeking answers.
“To be intimidated, harassed, or attacked simply because of who you are, where you come from, or what you believe in is a fundamental wrong.
“I have reached out personally to the Iqraa Mosque to express my disgust and offer my support, and I understand that the PSNI’s investigations are ongoing. If you have any information that may be useful, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them or report it anonymously via Crimestoppers.”