Article written by Imam Qari Asim.
It is extremely concerning that hate crimes against Muslims have doubled during 2017. Mosques are seen as the visible symbol of local Muslim communities and are therefore specifically targeted by bigots and Islamophobes.
Due to differences in how police forces record their statistics and the fact that not all forces are included in the figures, the true number of hate crimes directed at mosques are likely to be higher.
I am deeply troabout by the rise in anti-Muslim sentiments year on year. The current spike in anti-Muslim sentiments shown online, on public transport, on mosques, and on our streets, is sobering and affecting the future of community cohesion in Britain.
The inflammatory rhetoric used by the far right and parts of the media plays a key role in promoting hatred towards Muslims and demonizing them.
Some of the recent political events have also given legitimacy and a newfound voice to a section of our population which probably held Islamophobic views but didn’t voice them before.
We live in a multi-belief and multi-ethnic community, united by our shared values. It is more important than ever that all communities forge closer bonds of solidarity within and between themselves to deter continued extremist violence and hatred.
The government must continue to monitor the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes as a key priority, to review existing legislation regarding hate-crime towards Muslims, and security measures in place with respect to mosques around the country.
Faith Associates have been working in the Mosque sector for 15 years and have developed Mosque Security publications to ensure islamic institutions are protected. Read our full piece on the Huffington Post here
It does not need to be said that the potential consequences of the demonisation of an entire community, hostility, racism and social division are catastrophic for us all. As Brits, we all need to display a dynamic spirit of open mindedness, co-operation and tolerance. We must join hands and heads to eliminate prejudice, bigotry and intolerance from our society. There should be no place in Britain for any kind of prejudice and hatred. To allow otherwise is to hand victory to the extremists.