Mothers are facing a two-fold challenge in dealing with the risks of both extremism and hate crime. We have every right to worry about the safety and well-being of our children when we hear about the soaring levels of violent incidents and online hate speech.
Firstly, we need to be able to educate ourselves and our children about what constitutes hate crime. Hate crime may be perpetrated through violent words and actions, or may appear as lesser aggressions. On public transport, at school, or within other public areas, hate crime could be when a person mocks the physical appearance of another and uses derogatory labels to humiliate them.
When this happens, we must ensure the safety of our family as a priority. Only confront the criminals if the situation allows, for instance, if you are surrounded by a safe group of people, and you can’t remove yourself from the situation.
Most importantly, the crime must be reported to the police, even if you feel it’s minor. This ensures that the culprits will be held to question, or at the very least, the incident is recorded and the statistics analysed to help reveal patterns.
We know that people of all faiths, including Muslims, have been subjected to hate crime in the UK. This calls for wider efforts to work with our families, neighbours and communities to protect each other. We need to stand together to combat hate in all its forms and empower our loved ones.
You can report hate crime by following this link: http://report-it.org.uk/your_police_force.
National Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from 8 – 15 October 2016.
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