Statement from Tell MAMA on the Conservative Party Conference



Today is a key day for the Conservatives with the Prime Minister making a key-note speech which will affect each and every one of us in our country in the future. The Prime Minister is someone who has also championed work on tackling hate crimes and has done much to ensure that fairness and equality in issues like hate crime work and stop and search is championed. Today is her day and for the future of the Party and we value the incredible amount of work she has done in these areas as the Home Secretary.

This is why we believe that we do not want to become the story which affects this Party conference and there are far more important things that are stake. This does not however, mean that the behaviour shown to us by Conservative conference and G4S staff will be set aside when we had booked and tried to gain access to our fringe yesterday.

In particular, to register, book, turn up and be denied access to our own fringe event and to have G4S staff placed around our staff and insult them, whilst openly making homophobic comments against an LGBT member of staff is unacceptable and these comments were heard by senior managers within Tell MAMA. Furthermore, to be then threatened with violence by two G4S staff and to be denied access to our fringe when we are there to inform people about anti-Muslim hatred, does not bode well.

Our work is difficult enough as it is challenging some groups within Muslim communities who sell a view that Muslims are perpetual victims. We have to constantly challenge that destructive view. There are others beyond Muslim communities who believe that Muslims should not be seen nor heard. There are also those who believe that anti-Muslim hatred does not exist and that Muslims ‘bring it upon themselves’. In the middle of these toxic views, we try and undertake our work and under a barrage of abuse, threats and intimidation over the last 5 years, both from groups selling the perpetual victim narrative and those on the extreme far right.

Our work forms a central plank of the Hate Crime Strategy of this Government.

Yesterday, if we can be honest, it seemed that the very dignity of victims that we try and preserve through our work, was stripped from our staff.

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Categories: anti-Muslim hate, Conservative Party conference, fringe, News, Teresa May