British Muslim group releases 6-step guide to keeping mosques safe amid heightened concerns
The 10-page guidance is aimed at helping congregations, mosque goers and religious religious leaders protect the premises as well as the local community at large.
Muslims are encouraged to prepare a safety plan, ensure security systems are up-to-date, and report hate crime and abuse.
The creation of the guide comes as recent data released by the Home Office finds that nearly half of recorded religious hate crime offences (45 per cent) in England and wales targeted Muslims in 2021.
“The tragic murder of Sir David Amess has left British Muslim communities feeling shocked and apprehensive," said MCB Secretary-General, Zara Mohammed.
She added: “There is precedence for hate crime offences targeting visibly Muslim women, mosques and their congregations, in particular.”
Last month, the British government was accused of neglecting its responsibility to Muslim citizens after failing to produce a definition of Islamophobia, two years after pledging to do so.
In a 2018 enquiry, MPs urged a working definition of Islamophobia to make it easier to convict such offences. However the Conservative government rejected the proposal in 2019 and promised to appoint an independent commission to come up with a definition – which it has not done.
“It is astonishing that 845 days on, we are still calling on the government to adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition of Islamophobia,” Afzal Khan, vice chair of the APPG told The Independent.
“The government’s complete and utter neglect on working to accept a definition of Islamophobia highlights how much consideration it gives to tackling the very real form of racism.”