A Muslim worshipper has penned a 'letter of love' to those behind a series of attacks on mosques across the city.

Tahir Mahmood was among around 500 worshippers who gathered in Slade Road for Friday prayers, the day after five mosques were targeted.

Speaking before 1pm prayers, Mr Mahmood said the attacks had been 'disturbing' adding "it was an attack on our house, on our house of God."

But he had sat down and started to compose a letter to the attacker "with some sentiments to think about."

Windows at five mosques were smashed overnight on Thursday.

Drawing on the Punjabi writings of a philosopher, Mr Mahmood wrote: "You can break down our mosques and break down our temples but please do not break down our hearts for that is where God resides."

Friday prayers at the Slade Road Mosque
 

He added: "I am going to write that letter and pass it to him. I will tell him that I pray that his eyes and his heart opens up and he finds the way of love. I hope he finds peace."

Tahir's father Khalid Mahmood is president of the mosque. He said: "Things like this can't hold us back. The broken windows are back as normal, it's as if nothing had happened.

"Any person who feels they could hold us back or close us down is mistaken."

Worshippers were joined by Erdington MP Jack Dromey, city councillor Penny Holbrook, West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell and representatives of neighbouring churches.

Neighbourhood police officers patrolled outside to ensure worshippers felt safe.

There was a similar show of solidarity at mosques across the city.

Mr Mahmood senior added: "We would like to thank everyone for being here today - if we are all one and all united then nothing can break us apart."

He said he had cried the day before when a young girl turned up with flowers and a donation toward the cost of the window repairs.

"It was such a nice gesture I could not hold my tears back, it was so nice, very emotional indeed. It's the memory of that which will stay with me forever, long after the attack has gone - I will never forget that."

Community united - Erdington churches and civic groups meet at Slade Road mosque to show their support
 

MP Jack Dromey said: "There is fear in the Muslim community but also an absolute determination never to surrender to fascism.

"Our community is standing together as one. My parents were Irish and had a hard time when they came to this country. We need to be united against the evil of prejudice.

"Our country is a better country thanks to our diversity and we must never surrender to the merchants of hate."

The mosque - Jam-E-Masjid Qiblah Hadhrat Sahib Gulhar Shareef Birmingham - was among five that were attacked by a person or persons who smashed windows using a sledgehammer.

The Witton Islamic Centre and the Faizul Islam Masjid on the nearby Broadway were attacked in the early hours (Thursday) followed by the Jamia Masjid Ghousia on nearby Albert Road. A mosque on Birchfield Road was also targeted.

There have been no reports of any arrests in connection with the series of attacks on mosques

Penny Holbrook, city councillor for Stockland Green, said: "This is a tolerant and inclusive community and it is lovely to see people come out to support their friends and neighbours. We are showing solidarity and strength together."

MP Jack Dromey addresses worshippers
 

Worshipper Mohammed Yasin said: "I am looking at the positives from all this. The community is coming together - it's not just a Muslim thing now but a community thing.

"We have a voice from our MP and we are meeting people from other faiths and that's what it's all about."

A representative of St Barnabas Church of England in Erdington added: "Our neighbours are our friends, whatever their faith.

"Several people from the mosque share prayers with us - Saeeda brings Carol, one of our ladies with special needs, they come together every week.

"We are all part of one community and we should show our solidarity and love for each other."