Indian Muslims migrated to the UK in the late 19th and early 20th century. They have since been amongst the most charitable, hard-working and patriotic citizens. Many serve in the armed forces and continue the legacy of those Indian Muslims that gave their lives for the British Empire in both World Wars.
However in recent years, we have seen an unprecedented increase in the racist hate crime, lethal Islamophobia, threats of physical and verbal violence, social media hate, and political intolerance in the UK directed against Muslims. The most recent Home Office report into Hate crime in England and Wales showed Muslims to be the most targeted group when it comes to religious hate (despite only representing 6% of the UK population). With 3,459 incidents recorded as religious hate crimes against Muslims in 2021-22 this was a 42% increase on the previous year.
British Indian Muslims however suffer even more disproportionately. Not only are they subjected Islamophobic abuse, but also racial prejudice, and furthermore they are also targets of nationalist extremism from abroad, and perpetrated in UK. Unfortunately such nationalist views have become mainstream and targets specifically minority groups in India that now reside in the UK, such as Christians, Dalits, and Muslims.
Attacks are physical, verbal as well psychological and through social media. For instance, a recent study on hateful content on social media showed that there were at least 3,759,180 Islamophobic posts made on Twitter between 28 August 2019 and 27 August 2021. Even more concerning, however, is the discovery that only a mere 14.83% of anti-Muslim tweets end up being removed. This raises significant concerns that the problem of Islamophobia will go to the point of intractability, threatening our social cohesion and our proud ethos of British Multiculturalism.
The United Kingdom Indian Muslim Council (UK-IMC) seeks to effectively address these threats posed by forces of hate and divisiveness to our social cohesion, multicultural ethos and ensure that the voice of Indian Muslims in the UK is heard.
In particular, UK-IMC seeks to engage civil society and interfaith groups, government bodies and law enforcement agencies in an ongoing meaningful dialogue and advocacy to effectively address threats from fringe elements who seek to promote fear, hate, Islamophobia, divisiveness and ferment social discord within our societies. This will be critical to safeguard our social cohesion and challenge narratives that seek to divide us and foster disharmony.
Towards this end, UK-IMC seeks to equip and empower British Indian Muslims with the skills, resources and materials necessary for them to play a more active role in society as well as the political sphere.
Finally, we seek to work closely with the UK and Indian Governments to ensure our ongoing commitment to protecting the universality of human rights as expressed in international law. This includes protecting our rights to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of religion or belief and our commitment to social inclusion and ensuring equal human rights for socio-economically vulnerable groups and caste oppressed Indians.
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