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Questionnaire: Attacks on Mosques and Islamic Institutions in UK

Statement from the EMRC

 

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With support from the Muslim Directory, we have sent a questionnaire to over 1300 mosques and Islamic institutions in the UK. This is part of the first ever comprehensive survey of attacks of all kinds against mosques and Islamic institutions in the UK.

 

Research we have conducted already suggests that while some serious attacks against mosques and Islamic institutions have been reported in the local media and reported to police, in many other cases damage to property and injury and suffering caused to individuals and communities has not been recorded or reported. For instance in one interview we conducted with a mosque caretaker in London it emerged that threatening and abusive telephone calls and threatening and abusive comments and gestures from members of the public had become commonplace at his mosque, sometimes occurring several times in one week. Understandably, because his mosque had also been firebombed and badly damaged, these less serious incidents tended to be overlooked. 

 

However, in our experience, it is by recording all incidents - big and small - that communities can work effectively with police to record and tackle all kinds of hate crimes. There are also cases on record where close attention paid to seemingly small incidents of harassment and abuse has led to the subsequent conviction of offenders for more serious offences such as arson and criminal damage.  

 

It is also vitally important for our research that we capture all incidents and experience of the kind described by the mosque caretaker in London, whether commonplace, rare, serious or less serious in terms of immediate injury and harm. 

 

Our aim is therefore to produce a thorough review of the issue across the UK so that we can provide solid research data to help police, politicians and Muslim community organisations assess and tackle the problem effectively. However, our effort will fail at the first hurdle if the majority of questionnaires remain unanswered. We are therefore seeking support from Muslim organisations to help ensure a good response to the questionnaire. 

 

The questionnaire and an accompanying letter from the Muslim Directory can be downloaded from our website at: 

 

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/emrc  

 

Completed questionnaires should be sent to :

Muslim Directory, 65a Grosvenor Road, London, W7 1BR.

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29th April 2010