Religious Leaders Must Take Responsibility for Extremists, Says Archbishop

All religions and their leaders must own up to extremist activities within their faith and examine which of their traditional teachings enable followers to commit evil, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, the figurehead of the worldwide Anglican Church, told interfaith leaders in Sri Lanka that accepting responsibility is key rather than disavowing an extremist.

Mr Welby arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday and first visited St Sebastian’s Church near the town of Negombo to pay homage to those killed in the Easter suicide bomb attacks blamed on extremist Muslim groups.

On Friday, he told religious leaders that discussion among faiths has become more difficult in the last 30-40 years and in every faith, including in Christianity, extremist attitudes have grown.

“It is the duty of every religious tradition, for its leaders, to resist extremism and to teach peaceful dialogue,” he said.

“So the first challenge to all of us is take responsibility.

“If a Christian does something evil, it is not for me to say ‘well they are not a real Christian’. I have to ask myself ‘what is within my faith tradition, our historic teaching, that makes it easy for them to do that?’

“The second challenge in dialogue is honesty. Dialogue is where we are honest, where we open the door of our heart and say it is this that frightens me about you or this that I disagree with you about.

“Whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, whatever faith, society calls us to account and I believe that God calls us to account at the end of time. Have you been builders of peace or builders of pain?”

In the Easter attacks, more than 260 people died in six co-ordinated bombings of churches and hotels.

Seven suicide bombers from two local Muslim extremist groups who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State carried out the attacks, which also left some 500 people injured.

Other suspects killed themselves by exploding bombs, some with their families, as police and military closed in.

Islamic clerics expressed outrage at the attacks and did not allow the suicide bombers and those who killed themselves to avoid capture to be buried in Islamic burial grounds, having declared that they do not belong to the Muslim faith. Their children were buried with Islamic rituals.

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Categories: Archbishop of Canterbury, Extremist, leaders, News, Sri Lanka

Review of Prevent Programme ‘Could See Anti-Radicalisation Scheme Scrapped’

The man tasked with reviewing the Government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent has said “everything is up for discussion” including scrapping the scheme.

Lord Carlile was appointed by the Government earlier this month to conduct a review into Prevent.

Part of the Government’s wider counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent seeks to stop people at risk of being radicalised from being drawn into terrorist ideologies.

In an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Lord Carlile said if it is to continue “it should be seen as fair by all communities”.

Lord Carlile acknowledged his advice might be that police take “even less of a role than they have now”.

He said: “It will involve talking to those who have described Prevent as toxic, and I hope they will cooperate strongly with my review, and it will involve a set of empirical judgments.”

The review was welcomed by the Muslim Council of Great Britain when it was announced in January.

Harun Khan, the organisation’s secretary-general, said: “For far too long, the Prevent strategy has affected the lives of innocent families, been criticised for mainstreaming discrimination and lost the trust of communities around the UK.”

Teachers’ unions have also called for the statutory duty placed on teachers and social workers to report those who they think are at risk of radicalisation to be scrapped.

Lord Carlile added: “I will be scrutinising the performance up to now of the Prevent strand of counter-terrorism policy, with a view to advising as to what should happen to Prevent, what kind of policy of this kind, if any, there should be in the future.

“Everything is up for discussion, including scrapping it, replacing it with something different, continuing with it, modifying it, perfecting it, introduction new streams of thought into it, this is a completely open book, it’s blue-sky thinking.”

The Government said the review will focus on the current delivery of the Prevent programme and make recommendations for the future and is expected to report to Parliament by August 2020.

A former Liberal Democrat MP, Lord Carlile was the UK’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation from 2001 to 2011.

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Categories: Lord Carlile, News, Prevent

Muslim family shouted at and called “P*kis” in a car park in Manchester

A Muslim family were subjected to racist abuse and slurs as they walked through a car park in the Manchester area.

The incident occurred on June 2 at around 13:40 GMT.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, one of the women, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how a group of individuals in the car had shouted “bob heads” as they imitated the Indian headshake, called them “P*kis”, and shouted other abuse.

Both women were wearing the hijab and abaya when the incident occurred, but neither woman is Pakistani or South Asian, demonstrating how Muslims irrespective of ethnicity, are often racialised by perpetrators.

They reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police.

She described the perpetrators as being three white males and a white female, all between the ages of 18 and 25.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.



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Categories: Greater Manchester Police, News

Man Charged with Attacks on Birmingham Mosques – Arman Rezazadeh

A man has been charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage after five mosques had their windows smashed in Birmingham.

The investigation, which involved counter-terrorism officers, began in the early hours of March 21 after four mosques had their windows broken with a sledge-hammer overnight.

West Midlands Police said Arman Rezazadeh, 34, was detained under the Mental Health Act, but has now been deemed fit to charge.

Officers received reports of vandalism at Al-Habib Trust in Birchfield Road in Aston at 2.32am and then attended a second attack at the Ghousia Mosque in Slade Road, Erdington, at 3.14am.

Patrols then started in areas with mosques and police came across further damage to Witton Islamic Centre in Witton Road, Aston, and Masjid Madrassa Faizal Islam on Broadway in Perry Barr.

At 10.04am, officers responded to a smashed window at Jamia Mosque on Albert Road, Aston, after pictures were circulated on social media.

Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe had described the attacks as “an abhorrent, despicable act that is clearly designed to create fear in our communities who are actually cherished in Birmingham”.

The force said it has conducted a thorough investigation and it continues to work in partnership with mosques around the West Midlands to offer reassurance to communities.

Rezazadeh, of Greenhill Road, Handsworth, will appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on September 12.

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Categories: anti-Muslim hate, Arman Rezazadeh, attacks, Birmingham Mosques, hate crime, Jamia Mosque, News

Man attempted to punch disabled Muslim woman and ran off shouting “P*ki”

“I was shocked to hear the word P*ki, I’ve not been called it in years”, said Shiria Khatun, as she described the racist abuse she faced from a fellow customer at a branch of the Co-Op in London on August 13.

“It took me back to the dark days of the National Front, who would bang on my front door and shout ‘P*ki’”, she added.

The 47-year-old wanted Tell MAMA to share her experience without anonymising her identity.

She was queuing to pay for her goods, which she had dropped several times due to her disability, and a man, who she described as white, bald, and middle-aged, sporting a high-visibility jacket, loudly tutted at her for dropping her goods.

Shiria turned to the man, offering her apologies, and patiently began to explain how her disabilities meant she was unable to hold onto her items without dropping them.

His response, however, was of a man gripped by paroxysms of racist anger and entitlement, as replied: “You P*ki. You disabled P*ki”. Adding, “You lot think you can do anything”.

But Shiria challenged him, adding that there was no need for that language, nor was it her role to justify or explain herself to him.

His racism continued, and he made a crude remark about her hijab, stating: “Can you even see with that thing on your head? Probably why you’re dropping things”.

And, again, Shiria challenged the man, who then attempted to punch her in the face, which was blocked by her teenage son.

A member of staff then intervened, but the man fled the store, shouting “P*ki” as he left.

Shiria reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police, who took her statement three days later, on August 16.

The racialisation of Muslim identity means that Muslims, irrespective of ethnicity, face racist abuse, including the slurs directed at Shiria, who is not Pakistani. It also impacts non-Muslims, including Hindus and Sikhs, who have, according to some academics, had their faiths ‘othered and delegitimised’ through the reconfiguring of their religions through a racial lens.

Academics have contended that the visibility of the hijab serves to reinforce the “age-old stereotypes about Muslim women as meek and submissive” amongst perpetrators.

Tell MAMA continues to document the gendered nature of this issue. In the 2017 reporting cycle, more than half of those reporting incidents to Tell MAMA were female. And, a clear majority of perpetrators were male (64.6 per cent), with 69 per cent of all male perpetrators identified as white (where the perpetrator data was available and verified). In the interim reporting cycle, between January and July 2018, 58 per cent of those reporting incidents to Tell MAMA were Muslim women.

Grounding any understanding of this issue, therefore, in a framework of intersectionality, is imperative. This concept of black feminist thought presents a framework to stop the essentialism of difference. Writing in Living a Feminist Life, the scholar Professor Sara Ahmed noted that “Intersectionality is messy and embodied” in the hope of broadening the discussion to recognise certain privileges, like being able-bodied, but still face structural and personal forms of oppression. Ahmed argues: “It is easy for me to forget to think about it [able-bodied privilege], which is what makes a privilege a privilege: the experiences you are protected from having; the thoughts you do not have to think”.

Shiria’s case is another example of how this issue harms the mobility of Muslim women, curtailing the right to shop free from abuse, discrimination, or attempts of violence. Tell MAMA continues to document other examples where fundamental rights of religious expression have been hindered or curtailed in employment and education.

It was a fear that fewer Muslim women are speaking out about their experiences of racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Muslim prejudice, which encouraged her to not only contact Tell MAMA but agree to have their story told.

Tell MAMA, in partnership with CATCH (Community Alliance to Combat Hate), works to support those who face abuse or discrimination, due to various protected characteristics, meaning that someone who experienced an Islamophobic and anti-disability hate crime or incident, can be referred to the appropriate support service.





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Categories: Co-Op, disability hate, London, Metropolitan Police, News, Supermarket

Salford City investigating racist slur made against Muslim supporter

A Muslim man was abused by a middle-aged man, who said: “You haven’t come to bomb the place have you?” and then laughed, as they queued to purchase tickets for the Carabao Cup clash between Salford City and Leeds United.

The incident took place outside of Salford City’s Peninsula Stadium on August 11 at around 10:00 am GMT.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, he consented to have his story shared anonymously to raise awareness of the incident, reported the Islamophobic and anti-Muslim abuse to staff who are investigating.

Tell MAMA reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police on their behalf.

The Muslim man felt targeted due to his beard, ethnicity, and thobe, which demonstrates the intersections between racialisation and religiosity. Non-Muslim men have faced racialised abuse and violence on the misperception that their appearance, including their ethnicity and beard, were indicators of the Islamic faith.

He described the perpetrator as a white male, who was in his mid-to-late fifties.

A spokesperson for Salford City spoke of their “immense disappointment”, and, in a statement to Tell MAMA, said: “We are hugely disappointed to learn of this, and it is being dealt with in cooperation with the relevant authorities. Salford City does not tolerate the use of racist or abusive language or behaviour and we will take relevant action against the person responsible in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police”.

Kick It Out, the anti-discrimination charity, reported a 43 per cent rise in reports of racist abuse in English football, with 274 reports when compared to the previous reporting cycle, with an additional 99 reports of racist abuse online.

Kick It Out also measures faith-based discrimination, which includes Islamophobia and antisemitism, rose by 75 per cent, with 63 reports compared to 36 reports the previous year. The charity said on Twitter that such a rise was “a significant cause for concern”.

Recent examples of Muslim footballers being targeted for racist abuse online, including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Nottingham Forest striker Lewis Grabban were both subjects of criminal investigations, with 32-year-old Gary Hyland pleading guilty to the abuse of Salah last week.

Photographs of Grabban and Salah were doctored to include suicide vests.

Show Racism the Red Card, a charity which works to counter racism, issued a statement late last month after a small section of Newcastle United supporters made pro-Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) chants during a pre-season friendly with Hibernian FC.

Kick It Out has an online form and apps on Google Play and iOS to report racism and discrimination in football.







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Categories: football, Greater Manchester Police, News, Salford, Show Racism the Red Card

Men Appear in Court Encouraging Copycat Attacks in the Wake of the Christchurch Mosque Killings

Two men alleged to have encouraged copycat attacks in the wake of the Christchurch shootings appeared in court today.

Morgan Seales, 19, of Turner Avenue, South Shields, and Gabriele Longo, 26, of Burdock Close, Crawley, West Sussex, allegedly communicated on the WhatsApp group Christian White Militia and published statements encouraging terrorism between March 16 and 19.

Their plea and trial preparation was listed today and they remain in custody.

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Categories: Christchurch attack, far right extremism, Gabriele Longo, Morgan Searles, News

Uber driver felt “mentally broken” after facing racial abuse from passenger

A Muslim Uber driver has been unable to work and felt “mentally broken” after being racially abused by a passenger in Brighton.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, the driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how he collected a group of passengers on July 30, at around 11:45 pm GMT.

One of the three passengers, described as being an Italian man in his mid-to-late forties, asked several personal questions of the driver, including his name and where he was born.

He answered the passenger’s questions. But the passenger became more belligerent in tone, adding: “Why are you working for f**king British people? I f**king hate British people” and “I am Italian and proud to be Italian. You should go back to your country. You are discriminating against your own country”.

The driver then requested that the passenger stop being disrespectful, but instead, the passenger continued to repeat his racist remarks. So, the driver pulled over and insisted that he could take the passengers no further and that they should order a different taxi, as he was unable to continue with their journey.

The racist passenger grew more belligerent as he exited the vehicle, he said out “f**king Muslim” and referred to the driver as a “c***”.

After the passengers left, the driver contacted Uber and Sussex Police to report the racial abuse.

The physical and psychological toll of hate crime is well-documented, harming the mental health and wellbeing of individuals. In broader terms, there is a blurring or overlap between racial and religious discrimination in the context of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice.  Racial discrimination, however, has been linked to increased psychological distress, hypertension, and poorer general health. The city of Milwaukee, in the United States, declared last month that racism is a public health crisis. Despite such negative health impacts, structural racism for black and Asian people struggle to access talking therapies or treatments for mental or emotional problems. Perceptions of discriminatory attitudes from healthcare practitioners, studies have found, has seen some withdraw from seeking help. The Race Disparity Audit found that patients from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, and Chinese backgrounds were more likely to express dissatisfaction with the experience of getting a GP appointment, and with the quality of service.

Tell MAMA, has, for many years, documented the risk working in the night-time economy, such as taxi drivers, security personnel and those in the hospitality sector, may have for Muslims, vulnerable to Islamophobic hate crime.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.



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Categories: News, Sussex Police, taxi driver, Uber

Nottinghamshire Police caution two men over “they don’t sell bombs here” remarks

Nottinghamshire Police have cautioned two men for shouting “they don’t sell bombs here” at a Muslim family as they walked through an outdoor market.

The incident occurred on May 18 at around 13:45 GMT.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, a family member, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how the Islamophobic and anti-Muslim abuse left them fearing for their family’s safety, so, they informed the police.

After Nottinghamshire Police located the suspects, neither could recall the incident, claiming they were ‘too drunk’.

The family member, however, declined to take the matter further, citing a previous bad experience with the criminal justice service, which resulted in Nottinghamshire Police issuing cautions to the men.

The two perpetrators were white and ranging in age – from their mid-twenties to their mid-thirties.

The Victim and Witness Satisfaction Survey, published by the CPS, is a useful measure of satisfaction with the justice system. Several important and wide-ranging recommendations, made in 2015, included more transparency and keeping those who have experienced hate crime better informed or why charges were either altered, dropped, or upheld. Victims of hate crime and witnesses were more likely than victims of non-aggravated offences to be satisfied with final charges given to perpetrators. The report added that “satisfaction with the final charges is associated with victims and witnesses feeling that the CPS helped them to cope and recover from their experience.”  The police were, therefore, also more likely to ascertain the needs of vulnerable hate crime victims, including referrals to third-party agencies.

There are institutional barriers and personal biases that Muslims and those from other minority groups are often disadvantaged when they engage with the criminal justice service. Polling released that year, by the solicitors Hodge Jones & Allen, found that just 20 per cent of Muslims surveyed stated that they could trust legal professionals – compared to the national average of 37 per cent.

Academics have found that the quality of the service given by those within criminal justice service is more important than the outcome for those who experience hate crimes.

Tell MAMA has continued to document how Muslims have faced discriminatory, hurtful, and dehumanising language directed at them that referenced bombs or explosives. Others have described how teaching staff misapplied safeguarding policies, including over a Muslim child’s water pistol and their father’s legally-obtained permit to use firearms for clay pigeon shooting.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.








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Categories: hate crime, News, Nottingham