Director of Skills Rethink Shagufta Nasreen wants awareness of hate crime raised


- Credit: Archant

I am very proud to have made a choice to live in Newham, the community here is very vibrant, diverse and has countless opportunities to progress in every walk of life.

However, two recent events that took place in the space of one week around the Forest Gate vicinity made me think about the severity of the Islamophobic trends that seem to be on the rise in London.

Last Monday, while I was crossing a road in front of a local mosque on Upton Lane, a woman approached a few male congregates and shouted, “You all should die” and carried on hurling abuse at them. No one from the mens side replied or challenged her, I guess no one would have reported it to the police either. Another incident took place a few days later on at Romford Road bus stop. A man was riding his bike on the pavement at a speed, and pushed a woman who was wearing a hijab with his bike, when she protested, he swore and spat on her. Myself and my children were horrified and felt upset at these despicable attitudes by individuals towards our community.

Saturday marked the start of Stop Hate Crime awareness week. We all need to urge our central and local governments to take further measures to curb, Islamophobic, anti Semitic and other hate crimes immediately. Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors hate crimes against Muslims in the UK, has reported that Islamophobic crimes in London have soared up by 70 per cent, from 478 to 816, in 2014 and 2015. According to the charity’s director, the majority of these incidents took place against women who were visibly Muslim and wore head scarfs or hijab.

London is a uniquely diverse city and has a very proud multi-faith community too, more new communities are coming in to it who are, mostly, not aware of our different cultures. Therefore, to keep our position as a diverse city on the world stage, we need to raise more awareness against hate crime and do more to bring the perpetrators of the hate crime to justice, fast. More from Shagufta

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