LONDON – The leaders of the British Muslim community have called on the government to provide funding for mosque security in the wake of the New Zealand shootings.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, will be writing to the Prime Minister highlighting the “palpable sense of fear” felt by Muslim communities after the New Zealand attacks and warns of the risk of copycat attacks in the UK, a statement on MCB website read.
“Open seven days a week, especially on Fridays, mosques across the UK are places servicing well-attended congregations,” said Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.
“This makes the risk of copycat attacks here in the UK a real possibility, especially in a climate where we are now fully appreciating the growth in the far right.
“A long-term commitment to ensure Muslim communities are supported similarly to Jewish communities is absolutely essential in these troubling times as we struggle with how we balance the necessity of security with our desire for continued openness.”
The letter comes a few days after a terrorist killed 50 Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
There has been a visible police presence across mosques throughout the UK following the Christchurch terrorist attacks.
“Following the massacre of 50 Muslims at two mosques in a terrorist attack in New Zealand, many are understandably concerned that this kind of atrocity could be repeated here, given rising anti-Muslim sentiment,” an MCB spokesperson told Metro.co.uk.
According to the MCB, the Prime Minister took steps to increase security funding for Jewish institutions after the rise of anti-Semitic attacks, committing £14m to support the security of approximately 400 synagogues and 150 Jewish schools (equivalent to £25k per institution).
The Muslim Council of Britain called on the government to “demonstrate equivalent support to Muslim communities.”
The letter points out how hate crime against Muslims represents the majority of religiously based hate crime (52%).
Yet, the Government’s fund for the security of all other faith institutions is currently closed and had only distributed £2.4m over three years (equivalent to less than £500 per institution if only Muslim institutions are considered).