LONDON – Commending their fights against Islamophobia, UK Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire has met a group of Muslim women from across the country to underscore the Government’s commitment to eradicating hate crime from Britain’s streets.
“Nobody should live in fear of intimidation and violence because of their beliefs or the color of their skin,” Brokenshire said, Keep The Faith reported.
“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.”
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.
The roundtable session was hosted by Akeela Ahmed MBE and founder of the ‘She Speaks We Hear Forum’, a platform that shares stories and experiences of Muslim women.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
According to Home Office, religiously-motivated hate crime has risen 40 percent in England and Wales, with more than half (52 percent) directed at Muslims.
Muslim women are one of the groups most likely to face religiously-motivated hate crime.
The Minister expressed his determination to support the victims of such unacceptable acts.
“We must challenge prejudice and intolerance wherever it appears in our society,” he said.
“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.”