Muslim Community Meets to Raise Concerns over Growing anti-Muslim violence

22 Jan 2010

Imams and religious scholars from hundreds of Muslim organisations will gather in Birmingham on Saturday, 23rd January to discuss the rise in Islamophobia and anti-Muslim attacks in the UK and across Europe. We are pleased to announce that Wes Streeting, President of the National Union of Students and Salma Yaqoob, Birmingham City Councillor will be present and take part in the meeting.

Convened by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the meeting will note with deep regret and concerns that Islamophobia is becoming largely acceptable and tolerable due to the silence from our political leaders and by some sections of the media. This further enhances the legitimacy to ignore the concerns of the British Muslim community and increases the possibility of more anti-Muslim violence. Due to the lack of any clear policy or directive by the government, it has emboldened the far right groups, who are now increasingly targeting Muslims and their places of worship with virtual impunity. Urging the government for a clear policy, the MCB are expressing the concerns of the British Muslim community that should anti-Muslim hatred remain unchecked and unchallenged by our politicians, media and the police; it has the real potential to lead and recreate civil unrest like those events of Oldham and Bradford in 2001. By not confronting these issues, it will inevitably lead to a breakdown in community relations at a time when there should be direct partnership to combat the rise of the far right with long term consequences on community cohesion.

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, says: `The soaring anti-Muslim violence makes it more than ever necessary for the MCB and our affiliates to work harder to continue raising awareness and educating people about religious diversity that we share and benefit from in our country. It also demonstrates a pressing need for Muslims to be fully engaged in political and civic action and to build strong alliances with other faith groups to fight for a tolerant Britain and Europe where every faith and none thrives without intimidation, threat and slander’. He is urging grassroots organisations, Mosques, Imams and community workers to work more closely with groups of faith or none and civil liberty bodies to strengthen the fabric of our society and challenge all kinds of bigotry.

The special meeting will reiterate the need of the MCB and its affiliates to demand an official enquiry into the rise Islamophobia and to challenge all threats to the security of our nation from any extremist group at the expense of the law abiding Muslim community.

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MCB Public Meeting ‘Rise in Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Attacks’
Birmingham, Saturday 23rd January 2010, at 3.00pm

Venue: UKIM Sparkbrook Islamic Centre
Corner of 179-187 Anderton Road and Sydenham Road
Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B11 1ND
This is an open event for the Muslim community, but prior confirmation is necessary. If you would like to attend the event, please confirm your attendance by calling 0207 492 4980 or email admin@mcb.org.uk

Notes to Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

Media enquiries should be addressed to the MCB Media Office on 0845 26 26 786 or media@mcb.org.uk.
Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the MCB Office at The Muslim Council of Britain, PO Box 57330, London E1 2WJ. Tel: 0845 26 26 786 Fax: 0207 247 7079
This press release and other MCB publications and information are available on the MCB website at www.mcb.org.uk
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