UK govt opens £24.5m fund for mosque protection against hate crimes
The UK government has allocated £24.5 million ($30.57m) for mosques and “associated faith community centres” to protect their facilities from hate crimes, Security Minister Damian Hinds announced on Thursday.
According to police figures, 45% of religious hate crimes recorded in England and Wales between 2020-2021 were targeted against Muslims.
"It is a fundamental right to be able to practise your faith in your community," Hinds said in a statement.
"This new round of funding will cover the costs of security measures for places of worship to deter and prevent hate-crime attacks on vulnerable communities, making our streets safer.”
Under the Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme, mosques will also be able to apply for resources to pay for security guards.
“The provision of a guarding service will only be available at Muslim places of worship. Interested Muslim communities will be able to apply for both guarding services and physical security measures, such as CCTV and fencing," the Home Office said in a statement.
UK muslim groups have long urged the government to take action on Islamophobia, while also highlighting the perceived normalisation of anti-Muslim sentiment among politicians and public figures.
Last month, two worshippers were injured while breaking their fast during the holy month of Ramadan in the Sri Lankan Muslim Centre in east London.
The attack was captured on CCTV, and was carried out by a group of white European assailants carrying glass objects, sticks and stones.