Islamophobia includes prejudice, discrimination or hatred directed at someone because of their belief in Islam. “Islamophobia is unacceptable” is a Luton-based campaign developed by Luton mosques and supported by a wide range of organisations and businesses across the town.
The campaign builds on the work of the Islamophobia working group which consists of representation from Luton mosques, Bedfordshire Police and Luton Borough Council to encourage reporting of Islamophobic hate-crimes, ensure sensitive and well-informed handling of such cases and work to eliminate this form of discrimination in society.
The True vision online reporting facility is a National Police tool to record hate crimes or hate incidents. Do report using the online form. find information about people that can help and support you if you have been a victim.
What is Islamophobia?
The All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims states, in its published report, that Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.
Islamophobia includes prejudice, discrimination or hatred directed at someone because of their belief in Islam. People often associate Islamophobia with acts of abuse or harassment. However, it doesn’t need to involve violent or intimidating behaviour. Take racial name-calling and jokes. Or consider situations when people may be excluded from groups or activities because of where they come from.
Islamophobia can be revealed through people’s actions as well as their attitudes. It can also be reflected in systems and institutions. But sometimes it may not be revealed at all. Not all Islamophobia is obvious. For example, someone may look through a list of job applicants and decide not to interview people with Muslim-sounding names.
Islamophobia is more than just words, beliefs and actions. It includes all the barriers that prevent people from enjoying dignity and equality because of their race.
Why Islamophobia is a problem
Islamophobia causes harm to those who are on the receiving end. It hurts individuals, communities and our society at large.
Studies show that experiencing discrimination has profound effects on people’s health and welfare. The effects can include feelings of sadness and anger, even anxiety and depression. The regular experience of racism can lead to people withdrawing from work or study, and diminish their quality of life.
It can also hurt people’s freedom and dignity. Those who endure Islamophobia can be made to feel they have less freedom, or are second-class citizens.
Discrimination creates a society where people don’t trust and respect each other. It challenges our society’s values of equality and fairness and is unacceptable.
- Regular meetings of the Islamophobia working group to raise community concerns, review the reported statistics and develop strategies to eliminate Islamophobic discrimination.
- Developing and delivering training to service providers including new Police recruits who will have to deal with reports of Islamophobia.
- Training faith leaders on hate crime reporting and signposting.
- Meeting with the Police Chief Constable to raise concerns around increase in hate crime
- Organising events to raise awareness of Islamophobia
- Developing resources ranging from reporting cards to posters for faith centres and workplaces.
- Facilitating community engagement activities and workshops to understand the changing face of Islamophobia and communicating hate-crime reporting processes.