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January 27, 2013

UK minister says Muslims under threat

National

January 27, 2013

LONDON: Baroness Sayeeda, Warsi Senior Minister of State for Faith and Communities, has said that more Muslims are victims of hate crimes now than at any other time in Britain’s history which shows rise in Isalmophobia which needs to be dealt with effectively.
Baroness Warsi quoted figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers showing that more than 60 per cent of all religious hate crimes reported to police in Britain are now perpetrated against Muslims – the majority of whom are of Pakistani origin.
She spoke as a YouGov poll showed that just 24 per cent of voters think Islam is compatible with being British, while more than half disagree. Only 23 per cent say Islam is not a threat to Western civilization.
In an interview with Geo News, Warsi appealed to more than 1,500 mosques in Britain to report anti-Muslim hate crimes to the police and a special project funded by the government called Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (Tell MAMA) project – a one-stop shop that works with agencies, like Victim Support and Neighbourhood Watch, to encourage reporting, support victims and record incidents. She said more mosques need to take the issue of reporting hate crimes seriously and work with the relevant agencies so that the real depth of the problem could be assessed.
Last year there were 13,277 prosecutions for racially and religiously motivated hate crimes, 83% of which were successful. But this does not reflect the full picture because there is a shortage of statistical information on hate crime and it is known that Muslims, of all the religious groups, are less inclined to report hate crimes to the police and as a result suffer the most.
Warsi said: “Muslim women often complain of bad behaviour they face in the town centers. Objectionable material is sent to mosques and Islamic centres and Muslims are targeted in specific due to their appearance and for various other reasons. The problem is really alarming but the real problem is lack

of reporting. There should be a register in every mosque to register any incident. Some mosques are already doing but more needs to be done. Our community faces major challenges, we don’t want our children to grow up in an environment where they are hated, viewed with suspicion and treated differently. That’s why I am asking the community to come forward and fulfill their responsibility.”
Two years ago Baroness Warsi was criticized for saying that that Islamophobia in Britain “had passed the dinner table test” but the latest police figures show that she was right in raising the issue, although she was attacked in the press for saying so. She said: “I don’t have to remind anyone what happens when an unfounded suspicion of one people can escalate into unspeakable horror.”
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Baroness Warsi have separately written to the mosques reminding them that the UK government believes in anti-Muslim hatred, like all forms of hate crime, is abhorrent and unacceptable, and is determined to tackle it but Muslims must cooperate with the government efforts to tackle the problem.

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