Press Release: IHRC Concerned about MPA Report Findings

Islamic Human Rights Commission

21 December 2005

Press Release: IHRC Concerned about MPA Report Findings

The Islamic Human Rights Commission expresses some concerns about the findings of the MPA’s recent ‘Equal opportunities and diversity management information report’.

Firstly, the rise of faith hate crime is stated at 276% or 417 crimes higher than those recorded between April and September 2004. While this figure is shockingly high, it is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the rise logged by IHRC in that period. Between July 2005 and October 2005, IHRC received an average of 100 faith hate crime reports per week. The disparity in figures reflects a serious under-reporting of incidents to the police. Indeed many victims who reported to IHRC stated their lack of confidence in reporting to the police.

Secondly, the report states that Asians and Blacks were far more likely to be stopped and searched than Whites, symbolising the policy of racial profiling in operation – and in all likelihood religious profiling given the ethnic mix of Muslims, reflected in the diversity of stop and search reporting to IHRC. The ineffectiveness of such a policy can be ascertained by the fact that although the number of stops and searches of Asians was larger than that of White people, the actual number of consequential arrests was far lower. This over-zealousness of the police to stop and search Asians may have been encouraged by section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 which does not oblige the police to give any reason for the stop.

IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh stated:

“Racial and religious profiling have never been effective tools in fighting crime but only serves to alienate the targeted community, thereby increasing and aggravating racial and religious tensions. If anything profiling in this way has been a huge obstacle in uniting all to fight crime and its causes.”

For more information please contact (+44) 20 8904 4222, or (44) 7958 522196 or email:[ ENDS ]

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183