Communities Secretary, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has met a group of Muslim women from across the country to hear their experiences of Islamophobia and to underscore the Government’s commitment to eradicating hate crime from Britain’s streets.
In visiting the Al-Khoei Foundation in North London as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, the Secretary of State heard from attendees who recounted their experiences of hate crime, and set out their views on the Government’s actions to challenge Islamophobia.
Akeela Ahmed MBE – founder of the ‘She Speaks We Hear Forum’, a platform that shares stories and experiences of Muslim women – hosted the roundtable. She said:
“I was pleased to see the Government taking time to listen to and engage with diverse voices of British Muslim women from around the country.
“We heard moving and shocking stories from women who contribute to British society enormously as lawyers, psychotherapists, social workers, teachers and volunteers.
“It was heartening to hear the Communities Secretary affirm unequivocally that British Muslims should not have to live their lives in fear, nor bear the burden of addressing the hate crime they experience alone.
“The roundtable showed there is still much work that needs to be done to address Islamophobia, however we can begin to tackle this insidious issue by coming together across communities and working with institutions and businesses.”
Muslim women are one of the groups most likely to face religiously-motivated hate crime, and the Communities Secretary expressed his determination to support the victims of such unacceptable acts.
The Government has published its refreshed Hate Crime Action Plan (16 October) which commits to a comprehensive review of hate crime legislation and extra funding to support communities, improve the response to incidents and raise awareness about hate crime.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
“Nobody should live in fear of intimidation and violence because of their beliefs or the colour of their skin. I was moved by the experiences shared by the brave women I spoke to, who have suffered violence and discrimination simply because they are Muslim.
“We must challenge prejudice and intolerance wherever it appears in our society. We have published our refreshed plan to tackle hate crime, and I am pleased to announce further funding of over £1.5m for projects that challenge the attitudes that underpin racially and religiously motivated crime.”