All readers of this blog are invited to the event, “Islamophobia & Religious Discrimination: new perspectives, policies and practices”. Details as follows. If you are intending coming along to the event, please ensure that you register beforehand – scroll down for details:
Wednesday, 09 December 2009
14:00 – 17:00
G15 (Main Lecture Theatre), Muirhead Tower, Main Campus, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
More than a decade ago, the Runnymede Trust report Islamophobia: a challenge for us all noted that Islamophobia had reached previously unprecedented levels. Shortly after, a Home Office report suggested that other forms of religiously-based discrimination was also on the increase. Since then, a whole raft of legislation has been introduced in an attempt to address this issue. Most recently, the Equality Act 2006 introduced a ‘religion or belief’ strand of equalities protection that has regularly made the headlines through a number of high profile cases, for example where a Christian registrar asked to be excluded from performing same-sex civil registrations.
Of those arrested, 102 were convicted of terror offences and 94 were convicted on terror-related charges. From the total number of arrests 56% were not charged at all (although some have had further action taken against them on matters such as immigration for instance). At present, there are currently 125 terrorist prisoners in England and Wales of which 91% define themselves as Muslim.
But, as the headline suggests, this is not the complete picture. Start to play with these statistics and they make some interesting reading.
So here goes, 2008 has taught me (relevant links added where appropriate…) that:
My life has been in a constant state of flux – something that doesn’t (yet…?) appear to be changing…!
A lot of nastiness, rubbish and nonsense has been thrown my way
You shouldn’t ever get comfortable and think that things are getting better as there’s always something else just around the corner
People get offended about almost anything and everything, here
The weight of expectation resting on the shoulders of Barack Obama seems to be beyond the capabilities of any one human being, here
At the same time, Barack Obama is also (allegedly) the Anti-Christ, here
In my post last week about the ‘Independent’ evaluation of Birmingham’s PVE Pathfinder by Waterhouse Consulting Group, I wrote:
Lacking evidence, robustness, consistency and insight, I doubt whether the report – despite its pretensions to independence – will alleviate the criticisms that have already been posited at Birmingham City Council or answer the many questions that – unfortunately – continue to remain unanswered
If you don’t want to take my word for it, I can now exclusively offer the full and unadulterated ‘independent’ report for free.
Just in case anybody is worried about this – or wants to threaten me (you know who you are…!!!) – I have written clearance from the Equalities Department of Birmingham City Council to share the report given that it is now ‘public’.
Download, disseminate and disagree.
Tonight at the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham around 70 people (including two children and four members of staff from Waterhouse Consulting Group) were presented with the findings from the ‘independent’ evaluation of Birmingham City Council’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Pathfinder programme.
The evaluation report, despite focusing on Birmingham’s PVE Pathfinder was strangely emblazoned with images of the bombed out bus carcass from the 7/7 bombings (see right), a London tube station sign with the phrase ‘We are not afraid’ written across it, and a London Evening Standard poster pronouncing ‘Terrorists attack London – many dead’ (nothing like reinforcing the stereotypes that you’re trying to combat). I hasten to add that there were also images of the bull statue from the Bull Ring as well as the Selfridges building, so at least two from five images had some relevance to the second city. Even more incredibly, the powerpoint presentation by Waterhouse Consulting Group’s Waqar Azmi also had the 7/7 bus carcass image included on every slide.
Further to the post on Muslim Birmingham about Islamophonic’s Riazat Butt’s visit to Nottingham and Birmingham to investigate the Government’s £86 million Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) programme, tonight marks the launch of Birmingham City Council’s evaluation of the Pathfinder Phase of the project (undertaken, I believe, by Waterhouse Consulting Group).
Hosted by Councillor Alan Rudge (Cabinet Member for Equalities & Human Resources) the event starts at 7:00pm at the Burlington Hotel, New Street, Birmingham. Alleged to be ‘celebrating’ the completion of the Pathfinder phase, the event will also provide details about the new three year programme that was recently agreed.