Tomorrow (Wednesday 29th February 2012), I’ll be speaking at the Birmingham launch of the new “TELL MAMA” project.
“TELL MAMA” (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) is a national project that provides support and assistance to those who have suffered Islamophobic or anti-Muslim attacks. Those contacting the new service will not only have their incident recorded, they will also receive support in the form of a a signposting and guidance service run through Faith Matters.
As well as supporting victims, the project will also map, measure and analyse areas or hotspots where Islamophobic and anti-Muslim attacks are taking place with the intention of publishing an annual report outlining the types of attacks, areas and possibly reasons why the attacks have taken place. In many ways, TELL MAMA seeks to mirror the work of the Community Security Trust (CST) which monitors anti-Semitic hate crimes against Jewish communities across England.
Without doubt, this service is necessary and long overdue. Research into Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime has continued to show how the vast majority of incidents go unreported. This has been recorded by the Open Society Institute in 2004, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism & Xenophobia in 2007 and in my own research. But it was only through a report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in 2009 which highlighted the real scale of the problem, claiming that in some European locations almost 80% of victims of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime were unlikely to report their experience.
The launch of TELL MAMA is therefore a welcome development.
As I wrote in an article for the Daily Telegraph in 2010, there has been a real need for some time for an organisation to work along the lines of the CST in providing support to victims of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim attack. It seems that Faith Matters will now be offering that very service.
Spaces are still available for anyone wishing to attend the Birmingham launch at the Central Library Theatre in the city centre. To reserve a place, contact either hanna@faith-matters or 0207 935 5573.
TELL MAMA is supported by the government and was mentioned in the Department for Communities & Local Government’s new Integration Strategy which was launched on 21 February 2012.
Given that ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ is almost a year old, that I’ve recently come across a report by ‘Faith Matters‘ that considers the growing tensions between Sikhs and Muslims in Britain, that Sunny Hundal on ‘Islamophonic’ recently discussed the issue, and that I was told a week or so ago about an alleged plot by Muslims to prey on Sikh girls at universities, I thought that I would take the opportunity to re-post one of my early posts from this site. Below then is my take on the story last year that alleged ‘kidnap’ and ‘forced conversion’…
“My only love sprung from my only hate…” Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
Call me an old romantic but rarely is the beauty and tragedy of love more perfectly captured than in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’. However recent events in Birmingham have forced me to reconsider the impact that love can still have in today’s multicultural society. What then are these momentous events to have plucked my heart strings, I hear you ask…???
Well just last week, a young Sikh woman was having to be guarded by police following claims that she had been forced to convert to Islam. Continue reading