Faith Associates in partnership with 8 Mosque councils across the UK have come together to offer advice and guidance on best practice to ensure the protection of Mosques, Islamic Centres and Madrassahs. Following the tragic events of the last few months where we have witnessed horrendous terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, we have seen reports of an unfortunate escalation in Anti-Muslim hate crime that have targeted Mosques and Islamic Centres.
The Mosque as an institution remains central to the needs and commitments of the community through its ability to bring together men and women of diverse backgrounds and ages for worship and devotion. Mosques have in general, served a specific purpose of providing a range of services for its adherents and committed to being an open and welcoming place for non-Muslims to visit and learn about the religion of Islam. Given the Mosques prominence in Muslim communities both visually and as an expression of religious identity, it is important that they operate to a level of excellence in the way they are governed and sustained.
A key component of ensuring good governance within Mosques and Islamic Centres is for management to appreciate the need to implement steps that safeguard their institutions from threats and develop relationships with the community and local authorities to help dispel suspicion and negative sentiments.
For the British Muslim community, recent attacks and targeted hate towards Mosques and Islamic Centres reiterate the vulnerability of these institutions. With the exponential rise of Anti-Muslim sentiment across the world, through the political rhetoric of far-right politicians and groups, the safety and security of Islamic faith institutions is something that needs to be taken very seriously. The continued vilification and demonization of an entire community provides legitimacy for extremists on both sides, be they far right or Daesh inspired, to commit atrocities on places of worship and will only continue to divide communities further.
Through consultation with 8 national Mosque councils as well as the National Association of Muslim Police, Faith Associates has developed a 10 point ‘Mosque, Islamic Centre and Madrassah Security and Safety Tips’ leaflet that outlines a series of easy to understand and implement action points to help ensure places of worship are kept safe and secure.
The community partners that have endorsed these tips include:
- Bradford Council for Mosques
- Lancashire Council for Mosques
- Federation of Muslim Organisations
- Bolton Council of Mosques
- Rochdale Council of Mosques
- UMO Walsall
- West London Mosque Forum
- Oldham Mosque Council
- National Association of Muslim Police.
Whilst it remains paramount that faith communities are alert to the threat and prepared to deal with crises, there is also an onus on local police and security services to develop collaborative approaches with faith institutions that work towards mitigating these threats and help build trust between local communities and local authorities. There must be a concerted effort to eradicate hate crimes from our society and ensure that all communities feel safe and protected.
For advice and support for your Mosque or Islamic centre please contact 01494 416202.