Guidance for mosques and associations
The Muslim Council of Britain today urges mosques and associations to be vigilant and exercise caution in the face of growing provocation from the far right and the recent violent attacks of worshippers outside mosques. While the threat is real, Muslims should resort to lawful, peaceful and conciliatory means to ensure the safety of their institutions and their community. We agree with the Communities Secretary John Denham who condemns the far right and observes that their actions are designed to provoke Muslims.
The MCB therefore commends the strategy of the MCB affiliate Harrow Central Mosque who responded to the provocation by deploying all reasonable and peaceful means to counter far-right anti-Muslim demonstrations. This included ensuring an inter-faith response against the racists, cautioning young Muslims against joining counter-protests and enlisting more volunteer stewards to protect the mosque and persuade our young people to behave. The Mosque came together with the local police, MPs, councillors and other leaders who expressed solidarity with the local Muslim community.
To this end, the Muslim Council of Britain advises the Muslim community to:
1. Report any suspicious behaviour to the police, and follow the guidelines for protecting your institutions below.
2. If there is a threat from the far right (through demonstrations, leafleting etc.) work with your local community to establish a united stand against the bigots. Reach to other faith communities, contact your MPs and councillors and get in touch with the police.
3. At Jumuah, and during the rest of Ramadan, remind your community, especially the young about their responsibilities as Muslims. Remind our brothers and sisters that they should not be provoked as this plays into the hands of bigots who wish to denigrate our faith and community.
MCB re-issues its longstanding advice: MAINTAINING SAFETY OF ISLAMIC INSTITUTIONS
Develop good relations with neighbours. This is an Islamic responsibility and is likely to act as a major deterrent to crime and vandalism.
Installing CCTV cameras around mosques and Islamic schools/institutes will help secure them.
You may be entitled to grants from your local authority for crime prevention.
Keep on the lookout for any suspicious looking packages or bags that may have been left outside, and also possibly, inside mosques and Islamic centres.
Report any suspicious behaviour to the police. Let the police decide whether any action is warranted.
Find out who your local police liaison officers are and maintain contact with them. Meet on a regular basis to discuss local issues and concerns.
For more information, visit: Know your Rights & Responsibilities Pocket Guide
Notes to Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.