Caabu calls on UK Government to do more to tackle anti-Muslim violence and hate speech

Posted by Caabu on 19 Jun 2017

Caabu calls on UK Government to do more to tackle anti-Muslim violence and hate speech

19 June 2017

Caabu is appalled by the terrorist attack outside Finsbury Park mosque on 19 June as worshippers were leaving after prayers.

Now more than ever before, the Government has a huge responsibility to take anti-Muslim attacks and anti-Muslim hate speech more seriously. To date, nowhere near enough has been done to combat the increasing vilification of Britain’s Muslim community – in language or in action, online or offline. You do not have to look hard to see a community that is increasingly frightened, or regarded with more and more suspicion, with their concerns all too often being cast aside. 

According to Tell Mama, between May 2013 and September 2016, over 100 mosques were attacked in the United Kingdom. In the days following the attack on London Bridge, Islamophobic hate crimes increased five-fold.

Education and understanding needs to be central to eradicating all forms of hatred. It is vital that this is a UK Government priority in a way that fosters better understanding rather than further suspicion. We must not allow London to be seen as an unsafe place for any community, or for faith groups to be unable to practice their faith in safety. London is, after all, the city that elected a Muslim mayor in Sadiq Khan only last year, and has a proud record of diversity and celebration of difference.

Caabu’s Joseph Willits said:

“Sadly, it has become more mainstream to vilify and incite hatred against the UK’s Muslim community, whether it is through newspaper columns, vicious headlines, or dog-whistle racist and Islamophobic electoral campaigns. Certain political parties and politicians bear responsibility for such incitement, as do those whose failure to condemn it adds to it further. Too many people in the UK seem ready and willing to exploit divisions, and justify hatred as ‘revenge’ or with the notion that ‘they had it coming’.  We must not let these hideous narratives of hatred be the central and foremost discourse that blames Muslims, scapegoats refugees and attacks those who speak out against it. Once again, we commend the emergency services, community leaders and members of the public, who represent London on such occasions, where those who seek to divide us under whatever sickening banner, fail every single time. However, community action alone is not the only antidote to anti-Muslim violence and hate speech. The Government has to raise its game massively to tackle it and offer far more support to communities that are most vulnerable to division and hatred.”

Ends….

Notes to editors:

For more information or interviews contact Joseph Willits (willitsj@caabu.org), on +44(0)207 832 1325 or +44(0)7860 860 777.