Simply put, my colleagues and I knew two things. We knew that a possible attack against Muslim communities may well happen within the bounds of a mosque, given the data of what we were seeing from cases reported in. Additionally, since May 2013 to September 2016, Tell MAMA staff recorded over 100 anti-Muslim hate incidents against mosques... Which means that now more than ever, we have to get to grips with an issue that has already taken two lives before.
After Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge, the real issue is this: will we finally see a robust challenge to Islamist groups or will they be allowed to undermine trust between our police, the Government and our State, thereby making us more vulnerable? For far too long they have run amok framing themselves as David against the Goliath of Government. The reality is that Goliath has been asleep for far too long. Now it must be shaken from its slumber.
Sadly, we have picked up a significant and measurable spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents in Greater Manchester and across the country. Communities have come out in solidarity with each other and against terrorism and extremism. We need to challenge extremism, break the networks of the bombers and disrupt their activities at every turn. Let us also remember that we have to ensure that we collectively tackle anti-Muslim hatred when it rears it head after major Islamist terrorist attacks. If we don't and racists and bigots carry on with their actions, they are re-enforcing the very strategy that Islamist extremists want. That of division, increased vulnerability and the manipulation of young minds and we cannot allow that to happen any more.
The response from social media companies like Google, Twitter and You Tube in particular, has been bluster, public relations spin and media lines that have done nothing to help victims who have suffered so much on their platforms.
For us within Tell MAMA, anything that challenges stereotypical and lazy views about Muslims is to be welcomed. This not only challenges the views of anti-Muslim bigots, it also challenges those who hold views similar to Abdul Haq and who believe that Islam and Muslims must behave and act in a specific manner or they are not deemed to be Muslim.
It is clear that some of our fellow citizens continue to believe that it is acceptable to target other citizens and community members. If anything, these latest figures should energise us to tackle bigotry, prejudice and intolerance where we find it. If they fail to do so, then there will be further challenges ahead for us all.
In just over three months, the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan will welcome athletes from across Europe in the first ever European games. Great Britain will send its largest contingent of athletes since the Beijing Games of 2008.
On the 26th of February, spare a thought for them as they still campaign for the truth and the restoration of the dignity of their loved ones. That is the least that they deserve and which Azerbaijan asks for.
The global silence on the targeting of the Shia in Pakistan is sickening... Next time you hear a political leader speak about human rights, why don't you ask him where his voice was when Shia were being murdered in Pakistan? The Shia of Pakistan are an asset to Pakistan which should be protected at all costs. As politicians have rightly mentioned, if Jews left Europe, Europe would not be Europe any more. Well, if the Shia of Pakistan left Pakistan, Pakistan would not be Pakistan any more.
The Ahmadiyya community is regarded by some within Muslim communities as being a non-Muslim heretical form of Islam. Whilst some choose to take this position, others outwardly voice this position on social media with hate targeted at this peaceful and pro-active community...
Our work has supported over 2,000 people nationally since mid-2012 and has also filled a much needed gap for victims of anti-Muslim bigotry. The last three years have been an exhilarating and gruelling set of experiences, where the personal safety of my colleagues and I have been affected.
The time really is now for the United Kingdom to take a lead in brokering some form of agreement based on United Nations resolutions. Leaving President Putin to play the diplomat and honest broker between both parties simply means that Russia's influence on the region is maintained and surrounding satellite nations remain subservient to its geo-strategic and geo-political wishes.
As long as Muslim communities do not have the equivalent to a Chief Rabbi, sadly, there will be a space in the social sphere which will be filled by those who are less interested in the welfare of Muslim communities, and more interested in making a name for themselves. Now is the time to grab this challenge with both hands.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan has become the soft target for politicians who seek to act tough for extreme hard line religious groups in order to garner political support and in some cases, through fear of their own lives if they are perceived as Ahmadi sympathisers.
29/07/2014 16:58 BST
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