Since the UK’s decision to leave the EU was confirmed last week, there has been an unfortunate increase in the number of racist and Islamophobic hate crimes in different parts of the UK.
The anti-Muslim hate monitoring group ‘Tell Mama’ have recently found a 326% increase rise in Islamophobic incidents since last year, and the Muslim Council of Britain recorded a dossier of over 100 hate crimes over the past weekend alone.
Within this atmosphere of heightened anxiety, there is concern within the Muslim community around Mosques and Madrassahs as targets for potential hate crimes. Due to nature of these institutions as central to the Muslim community and because they operate at all times of the day and night, there is a need to ensure that these institutions have taken appropriate steps to ensure their safety and security.
Faith Associates, as practitioners in building capacity in the Mosque and Madrassah sector, has produced and made freely available a ‘Mosque, Islamic Centre and Madrassah Security & Safety Tips’ leaflet that is being distributed to Mosques around the UK.
The leaflet sets out 10 suggestions and key action points for Mosques, Madrassahs and Islamic Centres to help facilitate their safety and security. Some of these points include: working in partnerships with local police and fire safety teams, installing appropriate security equipment (alarms and cameras) and ensuring direct channels of communication between management and the congregation.
The security leaflet has been produced following consultations with Mosques and Mosque Councils who saw the need to have a strategy in place that focused on protecting their institutions from harm. It is also part of the ‘Incident Management Guide for Faith Communities’; a new, comprehensive multi-faith publication being developed by Faith Associates that provides information and guidance to faith leaders on incident management and responding to crises.
Author of the leaflet and CEO of Faith Associates, Shaukat Warraich said,
“Mosques, Madrassahs and Islamic Centres are central institutions that represent the Islamic faith and welcomes the wider community. With the unfortunate rise we are seeing in hate crimes and Islamophobia, it is crucial that places of worship like Mosques take appropriates steps and remain vigilant to ensure their safety and security.”
The ‘Mosque, Islamic Centre and Madrassah Security & Safety Tips’ is available to download for free from the Faith Associates website here.