A Jewish community patrol group has offered to protect Stoke Newington mosque after a rise in Islamophobic hate crime in London.
Before anymore can be said about these positive turn of events it is disturbingly noted that such events demonstrating religious social harmony tend not to be hyped up or even given the media coverage they deserve. Instead focusing on the little skirmishes across the globe of religious tensions, a lot of which can be said to be rooted in political discourse.
At times of high tension and increasing EDL extremism the Jewish community send a helping hand, sending a firm message that not just a majority of Britons but other faith groups also feel the effect of the increasing radicalisation of the EDL and the stigmatisation of particular segments of our society.
Recently ‘hate crimes’ have been on the rise, a particular concern for the British public and their safety. Such incidents include a Somali community centre being burnt to the ground in London, vandalism of property and assaults. The most recent of which was a home-made bomb that was left outside a mosque in Walsall, during which 39 local residences where evacuated, the police as yet are investigating the incidence which they are treating as a ‘hate crime’. Tensions may yet still be on the rise as the EDL have planned a rally on the Saturday 29th June 2013, where the guest speakers are two prominent fascists from America. The group Hope Not Hate (HNH) has petitioned to the government to ban them, but this in itself may be counterproductive.
One speaker Pamela Geller feels that Bosnian Muslims during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia killed themselves to ‘manipulate media coverage’, and the other speaker propagates that “there is no distinction in the American Muslim community between peaceful Muslims and jihadists”. Pamela Gellers remarks would be particularly hurtful to many Bosnians, and the thousands of Bosnian women raped during such horrific times in Europe’s history. Whether such hate preachers will be banned or not is a matter best left to the experts themselves, but there is no doubt that such rally’s will ‘disturb the peace’.
It then comes as no surprise that some of London’s faith communities and those of no faith are determined to stand together rather than be divided. The Jewish patrol is known as the Shomrim patrol (Hebrew for security and safety) and has been patrolling Jewish sites since 2008, and will soon be adding Stoke Newton mosque to the list.
Despite the small minority that have acquired a larger platform to propagate negativity, the majority of us are determined to spread positivity, and help create such positive turn of events.