02 APR 2016

How can we combat hatred against people of other faiths or ethnic groups?

On Saturday 2 April 2016 Mrs Falak Ahmed of the Conservative Women's Forum organised an event aimed at promoting community cohesion. It was held at the Royal Taj Restaurant & Banqueting Hall, 38 Manningham Lane, Bradford, and speakers were asked to address the question "How can we combat hatred against people of other faiths or ethnic groups?"

The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Mrs Itrat Ali, Chair of CMF Yorkshire & Humber, who was the Conservative Party's candidate in Huddersfield in the 2015 general election. The speakers were:

  • Harsimrat Kaur, a Sikh, on issues facing the Sikhs Community.
  • Dayal Sharma MBE, a Hindu, on the theme of love for all and hate for none.
  • Canon Keith Madeley MBE, a Christian, on how to achieve a cohesive society.
  • Maulana Fazal Dad, a Muslim, on how Muslims should treat Christians and people of other faiths.
  • CMF Chairman Mohammed Amin, a Muslim, on combatting antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred.

Mrs Falak Ahmad gave the vote of thanks.

Mohammed Amin did not speak from a fully written text, but had prepared an outline that is sufficiently detailed that any reader will understand what he said during the talk. Accordingly it is reproduced below the photograph.

In the group photo below from left to right are:

  1. Canon Keith Madeley MBE
  2. Harsimrat Kaur
  3. Mrs Itrat Ali
  4. Dayal Sharma MBE
  5. Person not yet identified
  6. Mohammed Amin
  7. Maulana Fazal Dad

 

Outline of Mohammed Amin's speech on combatting antisemitism and anti-Muslim hatred 

  1. Good afternoon and assalumu aleikum
  2. “How can we combat hatred against people of other faiths or ethnic groups"
    1. I think there are two key points
      1. Hatred is not selective, and our concern cannot be selective. The safety and security of everyone in Britain should matter to every one of us.
      2. We are stronger when we act against hate together.
  3. I want to illustrate these points by talking about hatred of Jews, antisemitism.
  4. How many of you have hear of Tell MAMA?
    1. MAMA = Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks
    2. The organisation is modelled on a Jewish organisation The Community Security Trust, normally just called the CST.
    3. For over 15 years the CST has helped people to report antisemitism, which is what Tell MAMA does.
    4. Tell MAMA has two co-chairs.
      1. Shahid Malik the former Labour MP and government minister.
      2. Richard Benson, who used to be Chief Executive of the CST.
    5. The CST has been extremely helpful sharing its experience and advice with Tell MAMA.
  5. I want to look at antisemitism and anti-Muslim attack in a bit more detail.
    1. The CST works by calendar years.
    2. Tell MAMA works by the 12 months to the end of February.
      1. I’m going to compare Tell MAMA’s 12 months to the end of February 2015 with the CST’s 12 months to the end of December 2014.
    3. CST had 1,168 incidents, of which 81 were violent assaults, including 1 with extreme violence (grievous bodily harm or threat to life).
    4. Tell MAMA had 548 incidents, of which 21 were assaults, and 7 involved extreme violence
    5. Let’s put these numbers into context.
      1. For every Jew in Britain, how many Muslims are there?
        1. The answer is about 10.
          • England & Wales, 2011 census, 263,000 Jews, 2.7 million Muslims.
      2. Why did Tell MAMA not record about 11,000 incidents?
      3. Part of it will be under-reporting. The CST has been going longer and is better organised.
      4. That cannot be everything. The reality is that Jews suffer even more hatred than Muslims, much more.
  6. What can we do to reduce hatred?
    1. There are things we do as individuals.
    2. There are things we can do as organised groups.
  7. As an individual:
    1. Get involved with organisations that counter hatred and bring people together.
    2. Get involved with ordinary organisations. Everywhere you go, you are an ambassador for Islam. People will judge Islam by the Muslims they meet. If they don’t meet any Muslims, they will go by the worst media reporting.
      1. When I write things about taxation or investment, I am not doing that to reduce anti-Muslim hatred.
      2. However, reducing anti-Muslim hatred is one of the by-products I achieve, because I am showing that Muslims are normal people who have something to say about tax and investments.
    3. Ask yourself how many non-Muslim friends you have, people whose houses you go to occasionally, who you sometimes have around for a meal.
    4. As a parent, make sure you bring up your children to think of everyone in society as a fellow citizen, part of the “US” that makes us one country.
      1. If you are teaching your children to hate any group, you are failing in your duty as a citizen.
  8. As groups:
    1. Get your group connected with non-Muslim groups.
    2. If you run a sports team, get it playing with non-Muslim teams.
    3. If you run a mosque, twin it with a church, and visit that church as an organised group and invite them back.
  9. The one thing that does not help is sitting back and saying everything is awful and "they are all against us."

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