David Cameron wants British Muslims to know UK govt will back them to stand against those who spread hate
For the first time in its history, the United Kingdom is going to record anti-Muslim hate crimes as a separate category, bringing Islamophobia in line with anti-Semitic attacks targeting Jews, which have also been record separately for some time.
According to The Independent, UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that anti-Muslim hate crimes are to be recorded as a separate category for the first time by police in England and Wales.
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“I want to build a national coalition to challenge and speak out against extremists and the poison they peddle. I want British Muslims to know we will back them to stand against those who spread hate and to counter the narrative which says Muslims do not feel British. And I want police to take more action against those who persecute others simply because of their religion,” Cameron was quoted as saying.
The newspaper further claimed that the UK home office was soon going to unveil fresh statistics which, it said, would show a rise in numbers of hate crimes over the past year, continuing the trend seen in 2013/14, when offences involving religious hatred soared by 45 per cent and race hate crime by 4 per cent in the wake of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in May 2013.
Further, Cameron announced that he will provide new funding to boost security at religious buildings in the UK, as he hosted the first meeting of a new Community Engagement Forum at his official residence, the 10 Downing Street.
Delivering his speech in Birmingham over creation of the forum in July, Cameron had said it was part of a drive to isolate extremists and “actively encourage reforming and moderate voices” in Muslim communities.
The Community Engagement Forum brings together representatives of faiths, including Islam from around the country, and is intended to provide the British prime minister with an opportunity to hear directly from those challenging extremism in the community.
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The Downing Street has claimed the Forum will discuss the objectives of the Government’s upcoming counter-extremism strategy, which is due for publication later this month and will include plans for a national coalition to challenge and speak out against extremism.
“We all have a role to play in confronting extremism. That’s why I have invited important Muslim and non-Muslim figures to join the new Community Engagement Forum, so I can hear directly about their work in our communities, the challenges they face and so that they can be part of our One Nation strategy to defeat it,” Cameron said ahead of the meeting which will also consider what more the UK authorities can do to help support young British Muslims.
This article originally appeared on The Independent