Rotherham Muslim Community Alliance Ends Boycott Of Engagement With South Yorkshire Police

Official Statement by Muhbeen Hussain on behalf of all in the Rotherham Muslim Community Alliance ending the boycott of South Yorkshire Police: (Includes comments by Sarah Champion MP. Also proposals that have been agreed upon by Muhbeen Hussain (British Muslim Youth), Sarah Champion MP & Dr Alan Billings (South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner) – Wednesday, 28th October 2015

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“I am pleased to announce the end of the boycott in terms of engagement with South

Yorkshire Police within Rotherham.

 

The boycott was led by the Rotherham Muslim Community Alliance along with other

organisations and was due to feelings of heightened community tensions and

disengagement from the Muslim community in Rotherham by South Yorkshire Police. This

was a desperate and drastic measure which was taken with full support from the local

Muslim community.

 

To clarify a few points within the original official statement of the boycott:

The boycott of Muslim organisations that didn’t adhere to the engagement policy was not

applicable to individuals, statutory bodies and groups that were actively funded or worked

directly with the South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. The

boycott was due to the incompetent engagement policy used by South Yorkshire Police,

therefore, the boycott of other Muslim groups only applied to any connection to such forms of

engagement policies.

 

Furthermore, within the original statement it needs to be robustly clarified that we have

stated that no individual or group is able to take the law into their own hands. We have never

argued that there is a problem with the legal system, only the engagement aspects of the

law providing service such as the South Yorkshire Police. We have, and always will,

continue to advocate only a message of peace, love, harmony and full cooperation with the

law.

 

We believe that the boycott has been successful in facilitating the correct dialogue needed to

hear the concerns of many ordinary law-abiding Muslims living within Rotherham and silently

enduring hate crimes.

 

We are aware that the boycott was a bold step. However, many felt that the British Muslim

Youth took a bold step when it led the very first UK Muslim led demonstration against Child

Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Just as that bold step allowed us to stand with the victims of CSE

to highlight the injustice done to those victims, we believe that this bold step has highlighted

anti-Muslim hate crimes.

 

All the organisations involved within the Rotherham Muslim Community Alliance want

to pave the way for successful dialogue and as those channels have now been opened, we

look forward to working in partnership with Sarah Champion MP and Dr. Alan Billings (South

Yorkshire PCC) in implementing the proposals below to ensure proper channels of

engagement and to work to build a more cohesive society for every community in Rotherham. We

would also like to thank Naz Shah MP for liaising and playing her role towards building this

engagement route.

 

We welcome this partnership and want to strive towards the implementation of these proposals and

hope to work towards a brighter future for all within Rotherham.”

 

Muhbeen Hussain

Muhbeen Hussain, Founder & Director of the British Muslim Youth

 

Sarah Champion MP commented; “South Yorkshire Police acknowledge that hate crimes are

increasing in Rotherham. However, when I speak to my constituents they are not even

reporting the crimes they endure and they don’t believe the police take them seriously.

“I am optimistic that there is now an opportunity to start a positive and productive working

relationship between the Rotherham Muslim community, South Yorkshire Police and the

Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle this vile crime head on.

“It is completely unacceptable that my constituents, many of whom are third generation

Rotherham, are too scared to go into town because of the abuse they face because they are

a British Muslim. No one should feel a hostage in their own home because of their faith or

ethnicity.”

 

 

The Proposals:

RMBC and South Yorkshire Police to detail their strategy to tackle all forms of hate crimes

(not only those that target British Muslims) within Rotherham and make a commitment to

involve community groups and organisations on whom the crimes impact within all stages of

the process.

 

Sarah Champion MP and the affiliates listed within this statement will write to the Home

Secretary requesting a meeting to make her aware of the impact of both hate crimes and the

repeat far right marches to Rotherham and ask for a commitment to ending the intimidation

Muslims in Rotherham face.

 

An independent inquiry conducted by the South Yorkshire PCC into the policing tactics used

in the 5th of September 2015 demonstration held in Rotherham. The PCC to set up a panel

involving community groups to consider the way in which demonstrations are policed along

the lines of the panel of the PCC for Greater Manchester.

 

To build on community relations and work with all communities to ensure cohesion in

Rotherham. We hope that in the coming years this will become a beacon of hope for towns

and cities around the country.

 

END.

South Yorkshire Police Boycotted by the Muslim Community of Rotherham

image1Since 26th August 2014, the date the Jay Report was published, the Muslim community has been under perpetual attack and demonisation. Over the last fourteen months, the Muslim community has time and again condemned the wholesale Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) that was brought to light. Whether in the form of a community conference; or a rally held outside of Town Hall – we have called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted.

However despite this we, the entire Muslim community, have been tarred with the same brush. There is a perception in the minds of many ordinary people that all Muslims are now potential child abusers, or that they have been involved in some sort of a cover up. This is further perpetuated by fourteen far-right demonstrations in our town that have zapped poison into our local community. In turn our women have been threatened with rape, children attacked, Mosques vandalised, men physically assaulted whilst out earning their livelihood and an elderly man being murdered. The marginalisation and dehumanisation of the Muslim community has been in full swing.

What is the fault of school children who are called “groomers” in schools in this whole sordid affair? How can it be justifiable to threaten Muslim women with rape as a response to the findings of the Jay Report? Can anyone find a single reason to justify the murder of an innocent Muslim man? What reason do people have to smash Mosque windows?

Let it be made clear – if it was not already so – the Muslim community completely condemns all forms of Child Sexual Exploitation and will always stand with the victims of abuse. Our community, led by the organisation British Muslim Youth, held a rally in solidarity with the victims and called for the perpetrators to be prosecuted. However, the findings of the Jay Report cannot and must not be used to scapegoat and discriminate against the entire Muslim community due to the actions of certain individuals.

Islamaphobia is at unprecedented levels in Rotherham. According to figures collated by Tell MAMA, which records anti-Muslim hate crimes, there have been 27 attacks in Rotherham reported to them alone, in the last 12 months. This equates to more than 2 reports a month. Considering that Rotherham is a relatively small town, there is a real over-representation of hate crimes against Muslims in the town. Knowing what we know about the gross under reporting of such crimes, who knows what the real number is. One thing is for sure, the actual number will be many, many of times higher. This is simply the tip of the iceberg.

During this whole period the Muslim community have been made prisoners in their own homes. South Yorkshire Police have piggybacked on this hostile environment towards the Muslim community by deflecting the attention of their own failures by scapegoating us. They have peddled a pernicious lie that: historically they failed to act of allegations of CSE, because they were afraid of being branded ‘racist.’ This is a grotesque re-writing of history; something that we will no longer sit back and allow to take seed.  South Yorkshire Police say one thing when speaking to a Muslim audience, yet when speaking to a different audience, the Muslim community is simply cannon fodder.

It is against this backdrop that: we, the Muslim community of Rotherham, have voted for all Muslim organisations and institutions (whether religious or secular), which claim to represent Muslims in Rotherham, to cut all lines of engagement and communication with South Yorkshire Police. This policy will be in effect until and unless South Yorkshire Police can treat our community with respect and fairness, just as we have done with the police force going back many decades.

Any Muslim groups or institutions in Rotherham that do not adhere to this policy of disengagement will also be boycotted by the Muslim community.

South Yorkshire Police must listen to our concerns and treat us as equal partners pursuing shared goals. There must be no more double speak from them. They have to own up to their failures, before they cause irreparable damage. This must happen immediately without further delay. The time for treating the Muslim community as a political football which can blamed for other people’s failures – is now over.

We will not be treated as criminals any longer, nor will we be held responsible for acts of personal self-defence.

If South Yorkshire Police cannot adequately protect and serve the Muslim residents of Rotherham; then moving forward we will take all the necessary action to protect ourselves within the confines of the law, whilst maintaining a process of disengagement and non-communication with South Yorkshire Police.

END

Note: Cutting all forms of engagement and ties with South Yorkshire Police does not mean that, you do not ring 999 at a time of an emergency, or you stop reporting crimes. The boycott is purely in terms of dialogue, communication and engagement with South Yorkshire Police when it comes to dealing with issues and matter concerning general policing and welfare of the Muslim community. For example if the police wish to come to a Mosque to deliver a talk or provide Muslim groups with some sort of training, this is the sort of stuff that will no longer take place, and from today will be boycotted.

British Muslim Youth supports David Cameron, in taking first major steps towards tackling Islamophobia.

pm intergration

Press Release (13th October 2015) – PM David Cameron, to announce anti-Muslim hate crime to be recorded separately by police forces, in the same way as anti-Semitism.

The rise of Islamophobia within Britain has been rapidly increasing in recent years, with huge spikes relating to international or national incidents affecting Muslims take place. Though, there has been a general increase in Islamophobia, huge spikes have emerged after international events such as Charlie Hebdo or after the tragic murder of Drummer Lee Rigby that took place in Woolwich. The aftermath of the attack in Woolwich saw over 50 Mosques attacked and Islamophobic attacks leap to 738 (including online and physical assaults). Further, “In 2013, 14 police crime statistics showed religious hate crimes increased by 45% and race hate crimes by 4%, with new statistics being published by the Home Office this morning expected to show further rises.”

Taking all of the above into account, the Prime Minister acknowledging the rise in Islamophobia has pushed all police forces to record Anti-Muslim hatred as a separate category of hate, the same as it records anti-Semitic attacks.

Muhbeen Hussain (founder of British Muslim Youth) comments, “This is the first of many victories in fighting the battle against anti-Muslim hatred and I am pleased the Prime Minister, David Cameron has taken these steps towards tackling the ever increasing hate towards British Muslims.

I saluted the PM’s actions, when he took steps towards tackling anti-Semitism and I salute his actions, as he takes the same steps towards tackling anti-Muslim hatred. I have campaigned on various platforms, that a system of separate reporting, the likes of which is used to record anti-Semitism, must be brought into all police forces across the country. This system not only enables us to truly understand the extent of the rise in Islamophobia, but it also builds confidence for many Muslims to report in hate crimes, due to the increased confidence within the system. I have dealt with cases of Islamophobia, where the incident hasn’t been recorded as even a hate crime due to a lack of education within police forces and even cases where individuals didn’t wish to report in, due to a lack of confidence. I believe this change will help tackle these issues.

Lastly, I have thoroughly questioned many speeches that the Prime Minister has given in relation to British Muslims, including his recent conference speech. I am also very critical of the new Government (counter-extremism) PREVENT strategy like many people within the Muslim community. However, I believe we should acknowledge and give ‘credit where due’ to the PM on these actions. I urge all within the British Muslim communities, to welcome and thank the Prime Minister for taking some of the first major steps towards effectively tackling anti-Muslim Hatred.”

END

1) Guardian, ‘Police told to treat anti-Muslim hate crimes in same way as antisemitic attacks’, http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/13/police-must-record-anti-muslim-hate-crimes?CMP=share_btn_tw-, Tuesday 13 October 2015 00.01 BST

‘If David Cameron’s usual speeches on Muslims failing multiculturalism weren’t enough, here is another.’

Short Press Release 07/10/15 -

The Prime Minister David Cameron in today’s Conservative conference speech, spoke about countering both violent and ‘non-violent extremism’. As you can guess this was in relation to so called ‘Islamic extremism’.

*note- we do not suggest that there aren’t elements of individuals that take the religion of Islam and use its texts/beliefs out of context to promote and pursue their evil and barbaric aims. We will always denounce/condemn and stand on the front line against these individuals. However, likewise there is other forms of extremism, such as the ever growing far right extremists, that must not be neglected; as there growth leads to the further growth of such extremist spoke about above.
In the speech, David Cameron…

1) failed to outline the effects of other right wing extremism and how they can effectively be combatted.

2) mentioned extreme exceptional cases of failed multiculturalism, such as certain communities failing to integrate, but used the example of Islamic schools and madrasahs- to almost suggest that muslims were the problem with integration in the U.K.

3) Again in terms of failed multiculturalism, he mentioned the problems of forced marriages and rightly so. However, the problem exists all over the subcontinent, yet he singled out Pakistan as a failed example. Research has recently shown how ‘paki’ or ‘Pakistanis’ is used as a form of Islamophobia. Just as on occasions ‘zionist’ is used as a slur against Jews as a form of anti-semitism.

Just to list a few..

12143292_1035459549832424_8739743254536626428_nBut let’s not forget, how the PM and his government act like they understand why young Britons turn to extremism. Where was the engagement with young British Muslims? ‪#‎openchallenge‬