The Muslim community in Stanmore are calling on the government to add a definition in law for Islamophobia after the terrorist attack in New Zealand and spikes in knife crime.
The KSIMC of London on Wood Green, Stanmore, held an emergency podcast by Al Haadi Hujjat youth presenters Ahmed Gokal and Abbas Gulamhussein who sat down with Hujjat resident Alim, Sheikh Jaffer Ladak.
They discussed the aftermath of the attacks, how the Muslim community should respond and what more can be done to protect centres in London.
This comes after 50 Muslims were killed and 50 more injured during Friday Prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019.
Jaffer Ladak told listeners the law needs to change to protect Muslims from Islamophobia.
He said: “At the moment there is no agreed upon definition in law for Islamophobia. It has been raised by the Muslim Council of Britain and all parties for consideration.
“We need to put pressure on our MPs and write to them and say we demand islamophobia be taken as seriously as any other type of hate speech that exists out there. Once we are given that legal protection it’s a higher bar for us. We can point out Islamophobic attacks in the media and social media and any other sort of things that happen.”
The day after the attack, the community lit a lantern into the night sky, sending prayers to those that lost their lives in the attacks.
On the lantern it read: “Our duas (prayers) are with our brothers and sisters affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Christchurch. #EndIslamaphobiaNow”.
In light of the knife attacks in the capital, Sheikh called for more police on the streets in the communities and urged Muslims to be vigilant.
Jaffer Ladak said: “We need to be vigilant. I think the important thing we need to do now is training for emergencies. If something was to happen, do we know what to do, do we know where our fire exits are, do we know who are the fire marshals in our community, do our kids know where they need to go to? So we need to be able to make certain protections for our community.”
“I also feel that on the ground, all of us can be doing a little bit more in terms of to create relationships with people that are going to have our back. We need to build meaning relationships with our local radio, newspapers, school. Everyone who has a specific relationship with the community – build on that.”
Episode 4: Christchurch – protecting Muslim centres and the struggle with the media is available to listen on iTunes and Spotify podcasts.