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.
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.
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...
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.
Over a month ago, a significant shift took place in Iran regarding the status of minority faiths in the country. Before I go into this, Iran recently seemed to dominate my conversation with a young woman that I met by chance at a conference in Central London...
Have you heard of Azerbaijan I asked the interfaith activist? No, was the response back and is that not a place in the East? Another activist blurted out reflexively saying, "isn't it some Russian state?"
As we move into 2014, we hope that both Far Right and Al-Qaeda influenced groups and individuals realise that we collectively as communities, will not allow them to drive a wedge between us as residents and neighbours. Collectively, we can also counter their belief that a clash of civilisations is inevitable. It is not and we alone can prove them wrong.
Tell MAMA has recorded over 200 anti-Muslim incidents, both online and offline in nature, during the post-Woolwich period. Such incidents have included targeted hate statements and anti-Muslim abuse, through to property being damaged, anti-Muslim literature being circulated and mosques being targeted.
Our project reveals some disturbing findings. The majority of Muslims being physically attacked, harassed or intimidated because of their faith are women, according to MAMA's figures - and those doing it are white men increasingly likely to be linked to far-right groups.
Whilst more and more lights are shone on the EDL and its affiliates, we believe that the future may give these far-right organisations more oxygen, as economies weaken in Europe. More than ever, the voices of reason within faith communities are needed and there is a need for all of us to report faith-hate crimes where we see them.
So what do Muslim women, white men between 20 and 50, EDL sympathisers, and the desire to wear a head covering and face veil have in common? Sounds a bizarre set of circumstances but there is a strand that links them together.
09/07/2012 12:58 BST
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