November is Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM), highlights the threat of Islamophobic hate crimes and showcases the positive contributions of British Muslims to the UK. (http://islamophobia-awareness.org).
IAM was founded in 2012 by leading Muslim organisations and aims to challenge stereotypes of Islam and Muslims, working with Police and Crime Commissioners, local councils, MPs, Mosques, schools, community organisations and others. (The Methodist Recorder Nov 13th 2020)
It also turns a spotlight on the discrimination and abuse suffered by Muslims in this country. Many cases of hate crime go unreported and the annual campaign every November helps to provide encouragement to victims to come forward and make complaints about harassment and abusive treatment.
A case study on IAM’s website tells how Ali* (not his real name) had racist slurs painted on his fence; faeces being thrown onto his lawn and his car windows smashed. This abuse was coming from his neighbours.
He had approached the council, the housing association, and the police over the months, but had no real response.
IAM helped Ali to deal with the issues, by formulating a strategy, helping with administrative procedures and generally supporting him.
There is no place in society, or in our churches and places of worship, for discrimination or prejudice of any kind. Methodists are known as friends of all and enemies of none, and the abuse suffered by people like Ali* is totally unacceptable.
The Methodist Church was founded by John Wesley, who taught Methodists to acknowledge the work of God in all peoples of faith. To recognise the finger of God, to rejoice in God’s work, and praise God with thanksgiving for God’s presence and work amongst people of all faiths. (From the Letter of the President of the Methodist Conference marking Interfaith Week 2020 : https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/presidency-marks-inter-faith-week-with-letter-celebrating-friendship/).