In the light of the deadly Christchurch terror attack, the Muslim Council of Britain is calling on the government to properly fund mosque security.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, will be writing to the Prime Minister highlighting the “palpable sense of fear” felt by Muslim communities after the New Zealand attacks and will warn of the risk of copycat attacks in the UK.
Fifty Muslims were massacred by a far-right terrorist in two Christchurch mosques last week.
The Prime Minister increased security funding for Jewish institutions after the rise of anti-Semitic attacks, committing £14m to support the security of approximately 400 synagogues and 150 Jewish schools (equivalent to £25k per institution).
But the Muslim Council of Britain is now calling on the government to “demonstrate equivalent support to Muslim communities.”
The MCB letter points out how hate crime against Muslims represents the majority of religiously based hate crime (52%). Yet the government’s fund for security of all other faith institutions is currently closed and had only distributed around £2.4m over three years (equivalent to less than £500 per institution if only Muslim institutions are considered).
In his letter, Harun Khan says: “Open seven days a week, especially on Fridays, mosques across the UK are places servicing well-attended congregations. This makes the risk of copy-cat attacks here in the UK a real possibility, especially in a climate where we are now fully appreciating the growth in the far-right.”
“A long-term commitment to ensure Muslim communities are supported similarly to Jewish communities, is absolutely essential in these troubling times as we struggle with how we balance the necessity of security with our desire for continued openness.”