Haringey takes pride in its diversity and our Muslim community are a vital part of that. November has been Islamophobia Awareness Month, and as it comes to a close, I believe that it is an important time for us all to reflect on the discrimination that Muslims face in daily life and also pledge to work tirelessly together to defeat it.
This council has been taking steps to address Islamophobia locally. We held a series of webinars on Islamophobia during last month’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week and have established a Hate Crime Delivery Group which meets every three months to discuss police responses to hate crimes and how to improve outcomes for victims.
From November 2019 to October 2020, the number of Islamophobic hate crimes reported in Haringey has fallen 37% on the previous year. This is a bigger fall than the London average and shows positive progress. However, we know there is much more to be done to combat Islamophobia, and we lead on doing so.
Discrimination isn’t always as direct as hate crime. It can be unconscious. Latent. Hidden. Pervasive.
Studies show that the majority of references to Muslims in the British press are negative, and this taints the prism through which many people view the whole community.
Islamophobia awareness challenges each of us to look at our own behaviour, and to question our own views.
The responsibility falls on all of us to renounce negative stereotypes and assumptions whenever and wherever we encounter them, to challenge institutional prejudices, to help reduce stigmas that Muslims encounter on a regular basis, and to show our Muslim community that we stand alongside them against hate, now and at all times.
Councillor Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council