Sikhs Are Not Forgotten & Should Be in Hate Crime Work

“Bet you don’t have other people reporting to you,” is the usual Twitter commentary that some people say, who do not know about our values. Or the alternative is, “What about Christians and Christianophobia? What do you do about that, bet you don’t do anything?” We just highlighted a brief response to a piece in

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Why do people want Titanic priest Father Thomas Byles sainted?

A campaign to canonise a Catholic priest who stayed on the RMS Titanic instead of fleeing remains ongoing despite renewed interest in his story. The story of Father Thomas Byles and his acts of selflessness, however, deserves re-telling. Roussel Davids Byles was born in 1870 to a Protestant family in Leeds. His father, Reverend Dr. Alfred Holden Byles and mother Louisa Davids also had six other children. He excelled at mathematics and  gained a scholarship to Balliol School, Oxford. When at Oxford, Byles gravitated towards the Church of England. His younger brother, William, however, converted to Catholicism first. In 1894, he had a conditional baptism (sub conditione) at St. Aloysius Church in Oxford. Upon entering the Catholic faith, Roussel adopted the name of Thomas. After spending two years in Rome, Byles became the ordained priest of St Helen’s Church, Chipping Ongar, Essex in 1904. In 1912, he had boarded the ship to attend the wedding of his younger brother William, in New York. This last minute decision to board the Titanic instead of a different ship cost him £13 (roughly £1,100 today). His second class ticket was number 244310. His duties included performing mass for second and third class passengers. […]

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Why was a Buddhist man attacked and accused of being an ISIS terrorist?

On a July evening in Plymouth, Jak Burgess, 20, boarded a bus heading towards the city centre with friends, and sat next to a Buddhist man of Sri Lankan origin. Within seconds, Burgess accused him being a member of ISIS who intended to bomb the bus. An accusation that turned to violence in a paroxysm of racist rage. Perturbed, the bus driver stopped the vehicle, and helped the Buddhist man downstairs. His attacker followed. And his tone grew more aggressive when the Buddhist man refused to shake his hand. A police appeal soon bore positive results. And Jak Burgess admitted the racially aggravated charge. He then failed to attend his sentencing hearing earlier this month. Now Plymouth Magistrates’ Court have issued a warrant for his arrest. The question remains: how do you account for this incident? One explanation concerns racialisation. It is in the assumption of Muslim identity based on ethnicity. Racialisation also impacts white converts to Islam. This owes in part to their expressions of religiosity. In a broader sense, religious conversion creates a fundamental shift in how a person views the world. A study of British converts to Islam published in 1996 found that it created an identity […]

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Why more than #1in5Muslims ridiculed the Sun’s ‘jihadi sympathy’ story

For Mucahit Bilici, comedy offers the means to invert the distorting power of stereotypes. This is true for anyone who has experienced racism and Islamophobia. This inversion reflects a recent Twitter trend that ridiculed the Sun’s claim that one in five Muslims has ‘sympathy for jihadis’. The hashtag #1in5Muslims also created a wider discussion about Islamophobia. The polling company behind the Sun poll, Survation, faced criticisms for its methodological approach. It told the Guardian that it picked “1,500 Muslim surnames” from its database. Telephone interviews did not proceed until the individuals identified confirmed an Islamic belief. Monday’s edition of the Sun had claimed that this sympathy extended to ISIS. But the poll did specify any group. It rather sought, in a simplistic and vague manner, to gauge ‘sympathy’ with Muslims who had joined fighters in Syria. Fighters could extend to other groups including anti-Assad forces and Kurdish groups. The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton-Dunn wrote “if the poll reflected views across the country it would mean 500,000 have some support for jihadis“. To extend that logic, a Survation poll in March for Sky News asked the same question to non-Muslims. It found that 14 per cent had expressed ‘sympathy’. If that poll reflected national opinion it would mean […]

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Open Letter to the Daily Mail on their Editorial Cartoon for the 17/11/2015

18/11/2015 Readers’ Editor, Daily Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT Dear Sir, RE: Editorial Cartoon in the Daily Mail on the 17th of November 2015 We wanted to get in touch with you regarding this cartoon which was published on the 17th of November. We would like to start off by saying

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Toronto says #StandWithMuslimsTO after anti-Muslim backlash

The anti-Muslim backlash following the recent Paris atrocities is creating its own acts of solidarity. In Toronto, Canada, four high profile anti-Muslim incidents have made headline news. A Muslim woman was assaulted as she went to collect her children from school on Monday. According to police, two males pulled at her hijab and stole her mobile phone. The brother of the victim said she was punched in the stomach and face, called a “terrorist” and told to “go back home” during the assault. Metrolinx staff found anti-Muslim graffiti inside a bathroom of a busy train station. On November 19, a Muslim student at the University of Toronto, named Osama Omar, 21, was spat at as he waited for a streetcar in downtown Toronto. Omar wears a topi, or Muslim prayer cap. The perpetrator told Omar to take his “turban” off and attempted to punch him twice. In a Facebook post, he described how an elderly woman who saw the incident from across the street came over to ‘apologise on behalf of the man’. She told Omar not to see him as a ‘generalized representation’ of what society has become. At around 6pm on Wednesday, two Muslim women faced verbal abuse […]

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F*** off Back to Syria Because Girls Do Not Wear Hijabs in England

Over the last 36 hours we have seen a number of cases come into Tell MAMA and the following incident shows, once again, how street based anti-Muslim hatred is also gender specific, with perpetrators mainly being white males and the victims mainly being visible Muslim females. This was reported in by an Asian female who

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Attack on Rotherham Taxi Driver Leaves Him With Serious Head Injuries

This morning, a taxi driver of Aghan heritage was found in the street with head injuries after suffering a serious assault. South Yorkshire Police were called to the scene and the taxi driver was later admitted to hospital and as part of a routine procedure, was induced into a coma. The victim is responding to

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