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Discriminating Against the Discriminated: Institutional Bias against Minorities in the UK

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These are the Summary findings of the IHRC seminar from June 2007.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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Discriminating Against the Discriminated: Institutional Bias against Minorities in the UK
12 June 2007

A seminar organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).

Family Proceedings Workshop
The main finding of this workshop was that Muslims are prejudiced in family law proceedings by Islamophobia, stereotyping and the War on Terror.

Solutions:
Monitoring – look into the proportion of Muslim children who are in care due to emergency protection orders. Is this number disproportionately high? If so, is it due to unfair stereotyping? Compare with other problems i.e. class, other races, to identify common issues. Research into the problems identified. Lobbying Ask MPs to raise the issue in parliament.
Training to eradicate stereotyping and Islamophobia by judges and social workers.

Court System Workshop
The main finding of this workshop was that the legal community has an inadequate understanding of the problems of minorities and discrimination.

Solutions:
Monitoring of judges' and lawyers' behaviour and how people are treated in the courts. Judges and lawyers need a basic training, should involve visiting mosques and temples.
Create interest among big firms in local cases rather than headline cases.
The domestic violence training was cited as good practice.

Policing Workshop
This workshop examined how the police have dealt with the Muslim community, and discussed whether their policies led to a rise in Islamophobia. Profiling and treatment of terrorist suspects were identified as major issues.

Solutions:
Training, good practice provided by an impressive training programme in Scotland.
Know your rights advertisement campaign. People should know their rights, which gives them a sense of belonging and knowing where they stand.

Islamophobia education, the Steven Lawrence case created a high impact on Police. Creating genuine structures to look at he problem areas, including institutional Islamophobia, and make recommendations which will turn into pilot projects and implementation.
Create support for third party reporting, affording protection for people who currently fear repercussion if reporting a crime.

Complaints System
An exploration of the difficulties faced by minorities in both accessing and benefiting from the complaints systems in Britain.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission: issues with confidence and lack of results.
Prison Complaint system: experiences by prisoners is that if complaints made they branded as 'complaining prisoners'.
Community Groups: need more funding.

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

For more information, please contact the office on the numbers or email below.

“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org

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