A visit to mosque in the Scottish capital Edinburgh by school pupils has sparked a row after parents withdrew their children over fears of revenge attacks in the wake of a machete killing of an army soldier in London. “The timing was wrong with people protesting and guys getting killed in the street, ” a mother of a five - year - old pupil, toldScotsmanon Wednesday, June 5. “If things were a bit calmer I’d have sent him along. ” A trip was planned by Newtongrange Primary school to pupils to the Central Mosque in Potterow in Edinburgh. The visit was meant to educate pupils about other religions and cultures. But worries of possible attacks in the wake of the machete killing of an army soldier in Woolwich by two converts have prompted some parents to withdraw their children. “I received the letter about this a few weeks ago and had no problem, but at the end of last week other parents began asking whether it was safe, ” said the Scottish mother. Some parents had other reasons to pull out their kids, citing unwillingness to know about other religions, including Islam. “I don’t agree with sending my child to a mosque to learn about a religion that isn’t my own, ” a 42 - year - old parent said. “It’s the hate that is being preached in these mosques that I don’t want my child mixed up in. ” Another said: “If you don’t want your kids learning that kind of stuff, then you should be allowed to say ‘no’. Many of my friends are a different religion to me, but they don’t try to ram it down my throat. ” Anti - Muslim sentiments have been high in Britain since the killing of the army soldier by two converts of immigrant origin. Some 212 “anti - Muslim incidents” have been reported after the Woolwich attack last month, according to Tell Mama project, which monitors anti - Muslim attacks in Britain. The figure included 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti - Muslim sentimentsAnti - Islam Hysteria But Muslim leaders blamed the withdrawal to the ongoing anti-Muslim hysteria since the Woolwich attack. “These views are rather worrying as they are not based on fact but on fear of the unknown,” said Dr Salah Beltagui, of the Muslim Council of Scotland. “They are an offshoot of the current hysteria surrounding Islam at the moment in the UK. “What happened in Woolwich is in no way representative of Islam, we do not condone violence and we are part of this country too.” British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.7 million, have strongly condemned the Woolwich attack as contradicting the basic Islamic teachings. British religious leaders and councilors have defended the mosque trip for helping dispel myths about Islam and Muslims. “I think children need to be aware of other faiths,” said Sean Swindells, parish minister of Newbattle Church in Newtongrange. “A lot of the recent incidents have been hyped up and so it is understandable that people feel a level of discomfort.” Newtongrange councilor Jim Muirhead shares a similar view. “Unfortunately people equate recent incidents in Woolwich with religion when in my view such incidents are as far from 
religion as you can get.” In the wake of the Woolwich attack, several mosques in Britain have opened their doors to welcome neighbors or even angry, anti-Muslim protesters. In London, members of the North London Central Mosque have invited members of the far-right group English Defence League (EDL) to a friendly discussion about their concerns, reiterating Islam’s opposition to violence. The invitation was similar to another one extended last week by members of York mosque who invited angry EDL members for refreshments, tea and biscuits inside the mosque. A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims. A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.