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|Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Senior Minister of State for |
Faith and Communities in Britain.
An increase in Islamophobia has caused Muslims to become victims of hate crimes more than any other time in the British history, according to a British minister.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Senior Minister of State for Faith and Communities, 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, and called for it to be dealt with effectively.
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.
“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”, Warsai said.
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.