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Press release

Muslim Parliament calls report on Islamophobia timely

The Muslim Parliament has welcomed the report from the Runnymede Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. It has called the report timely and focussed. When the first report was released in 1997 it made some 60 recommendations to counter social exclusion and marginalisation of the Muslim community. But none was acted upon; instead of dealing with the causes of social exclusion the Government went ahead with criminalising the community by extending anti-terror laws from Northern Ireland to mainland Britain. The Muslim Parliament warned in 1998 that if government did not deal with social exclusion young people would drift to drugs, crimes and extremism in increasing numbers.

During the last three years, as a result of large-scale stop-and-search policy pursued by the police the community has been intimidated, demonised and criminalised. The Muslims have become the new Irish, habitually portrayed by the media as a Fifth Column and the ‘enemy within’. The community feels betrayed, all the more so at a time when it is making efforts to build bridges with the wider society. Unless the Government take genuine measures, the situation can only deteriorate. The Muslim Parliament hopes that the Government will take the report seriously and take steps to solve Muslim unemployment, underachievement and discrimination, which are hindering Muslim efforts to play an effective role in the wider society.

08 June 2004

 

 

 

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