MEND / Unite Against Fascism roundtable event

Diane Abbott MP, Muslim community groups and NGO’s come together to tackle Islamophobia

Tackling Islamophobia: Roundtable panel discussion in Parliament

3-5pm Thursday 20 November 2014
Committee Room 16
House of Commons

Unite Against Fascism and MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development) have called a roundtable event in Parliament as part of November’s Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM). The event is an opportunity to address some of the pressing issues facing the Muslim community with a diverse panel that will take up matters including government policy regarding the Muslim community, the rise in Islamophobic hate crimes, policing and the Muslim community and the impact of the media portrayals of Islam and Muslims.

Islamophobia has been rising at an alarming rate over recent years. In London alone, from April 2013 to March 2014, we have seen a rise of 69% in Islamophobic crimes with the Met Police observing an eightfold increase in anti-Muslim attacks in the two weeks following Lee Rigby’s murder. During the last twelve months, the Metropolitan Police have recorded 573 Islamophobic crimes in London. Given that 43% of all hate crimes go unreported (Crime Survey for England and Wales), the actual number of Islamophobic crimes is undoubtedly much higher. Unlike most incidents of hate crime, which overwhelmingly involve male perpetrators and victims, Teeside University have found that the majority of the victims of Islamophobic attacks are female.

The round table will focus on key demands to the Government, policy makers, and parliamentarians to deal more effectively with Islamophobia, including statutory responses and responsibilities, measures to improve policing and better legislation to protect faith-based communities.

Panellists will consist of:

Diane Abbott MP,
Sufyan Ismail CEO, MEND
Hugh Lanning, Vice-Chair, Unite Against Fascism
Dr. Mark Walters, Senior Lecturer in Law, Sussex University,
Dr. Omar Khan Director, Runnymede Trust
Talha Ahmad, Member of the National Council, Muslim Council of Britain
Mohammed Kozbar, Vice President MAB and Chair of Finsbury Park Mosque
Maz Saleem, Daughter of Mohammed Saleem
Sabby Dhalu and Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretaries, Unite Against Fascism