Press Release: Javid urged to end discrimination in hate-crime security funding

Islamic Human Rights Commission

18 March 2019

The Home Secretary is being urged to end the disparity in funding to ensure the safety of minority communities vulnerable to hate crimes.

IHRC has written to Sajid Javid in the wake of last week’s terrorist attack on the Muslim community in New Zealand by what appears to be a far-right extremist, demanding that he addresses the lack of protection afforded to Muslims and other vulnerable religious groups in the UK.

It points to the of vulnerability and fear that exists among Britain’s Muslims , particularly since the 2017 attack by Darren Osborne on worshippers leaving a mosque in Finsbury Park, London and the stabbing to death of 82 year-old Mohammed Saleem by a right wing extremist in Birmingham in 2013. Vandalism has become commonplace against mosques and supporters of the far right have even publicly stormed mosques in their ongoing campaign to intimidate Muslims.

The letter cites an IHRC survey published in 2015 of hate crimes affecting the Muslim community in the UK in which a staggering 66% of respondents said they had experienced verbal abuse, up from 39.8% in 2010, while the experience of physical assault had increased from 13.9% in 2010 to 17.8% in 2014 with the intensity of attacks becoming extraordinarily violent.

In the light of this clear and growing threat the letter asks the Home Secretary to explain the glaring disparity in security funding relative to the Jewish community.

Javid announced this year that £600,000 more would be allocated to keeping Jewish sites safe taking the annual security grant for the community to £14m. For each of the years 2016-17 and 2017/2018, the government has allocated £13.4m to ensuring the security of the Jewish community in the UK, which numbers approximately 269,568 people according to the 2011 census. The amount provided for 2015-16 (the first year of this Grant) was £10.9m. In contrast, just £2.4m has been allocated to protecting ALL other faith groups’ places of worship. According to the 2011 census there are over ten times as many Muslims than Jews living in the UK (2,786,635 at the last census).

The Home Secretary is also asked to explain why police have failed to follow up incidents in which Muslims have been publicly threatened or abused on account of their beliefs/views.

“It is not enough for politicians responsible for the security of British citizens to talk about rejecting the terrorists and extremists who seek to divide us. Such words amount to empty rhetoric unless you translate them into real and concrete policies to protect vulnerable communities from extremist violence”, it states.

The full letter can be read here: https://www.ihrc.org.uk/uncategorized/21570-press-release-sajid-javid-urged-to-provide-equal-protection-to-vulnerable-communities-against-far-right-extremists/

For more information or comment please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958 607475[ENDS]

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