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Defending Muslims, opposing racism conference

One Society Many Cultures national symposium on 11 December Image

6th December 2010: A conference on challenging Islamophobia, defending Muslim communities and opposing all forms of racism in society is scheduled to be held on Saturday 11 December 2010, between 10 am and 6 pm

The conference, `One Society Many Cultures’ national conference, is being organised at Mary Ward House, 5/7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN; and the speakers include:  Ken Livingstone – chair, One Society Many Cultures; Shabana Mahmood – shadow Home Office minister; Christine Blower – general secretary, National Union of Teachers; and Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer – co-director, European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC).

The other speakers are: Doreen Lawrence – founder, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust; Salma Yaqoob – leader, Respect Party; Kay Carberry – assistant general secretary, TUC; and Martin Smith – Love Music Hate Racism.

The conference assumes significance as a new report indicates anti-Muslim hate crime is widespread. The community faces a risk of aggression and coercion not only from politically-motivated attackers and gangs, but also individuals not aligned to extremist groups.

The areas of concern brought out in the report authored by Robert Lambert and Jonathan Githens-Mazer are: Mosques in isolated communities are vulnerable to attack; abuse of and assaults on women have increased; street violence is prevalent; demonstrations by the EDL spread fear and anxiety; there is serious under-reporting of violent attacks by victims. The report goes on to examine the demonisation in the media of Muslim leaders, what it terms ‘institutional Islamophobia’, and political discrimination against Muslim organisations.

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