British Muslim organisations have called on new Prime Minister Theresa May to adopt a fresh approach to the community amid a rise in post-Brexit hate crime, draconian counter-terrorism measures and a lack of real engagement with the grassroots.
The Muslim Council of Britain congratulated May as she became the second woman prime minister of the country.
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “We look forward to Mrs May delivering the leadership our country desperately needs. She must not only navigate tough negotiations with Europe after the Brexit vote, the Prime Minister must also deal with the fallout from the European Referendum campaign where reports of hate incidents against Muslims and others have increased exponentially.
“We look forward to Mrs May not only introducing tough new measures to challenge this problem, but also healing the divisions that have been revealed in the past few months.
“Many Muslims are also crying out for a fresh new approach towards Muslim communities. There cannot be business-as-usual when it comes to Muslims who have principally been dealt with through the prism of security. We hope Mrs May’s government reaches out to the full spectrum of the Muslim community. Muslims are looking forward to be treated as equal citizens who are just as keen to see this country overcome its challenges for the greater good.”
Meanwhile, the Muslim Association of Britain also warned that following the UK’s vote to exit the European Union there has been a marked increase in hatred and racist behaviour. The MAB said it hopes that the new Prime Minister can restore unity and direction in the country, to end xenophobic and racist behaviour.
“Achieving unity and stability requires the involvement of all sections of society; and MAB hopes that Mrs May would abandon the policy of disengagement in favour of constructive engagement and inclusion of all community sectors and stakeholders,” the MAB said.
On the other hand, The Islamic Human Rights Commission struck a more strident note, saying that Muslims in the UK should view with some trepidation the anointment of Theresa May as Britain’s PM.
They said: “While 165 of her fellow MPs may have nominated her to replace David Cameron thousands of Muslims overwhelmingly voted her the Islamophobe of the Year in 2015.
“May topped the annual online poll by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in which the general public elects the most Islamophobic personalities. The former Home Secretary earned the dubious distinction for presiding over a raft of counter-terrorism policies which have demonised and isolated Muslims.
“Foremost of these was the draconian Counter Terrorism and Security Bill 2015 which IHRC viewed as the latest in a long line of legislation to target and criminalise the Muslim community.
“May also used the Human Rights Convention she scorned as a means to halt the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the US – while allowing that of Talha Ahsan who is a Muslim. Both had Asperger’s Syndrome and were charged with roughly the same crime.