NCHT UK Aims & Objectives

Hindu & Sikh organisations call the Government to account for "Hate Crime" discrimination

British Citizens have, for many years now, been able to move Parliament to enact legislation for the protection of human rights and to ensure that equality is preserved, adhered to and maintained in terms of access and remedy. As British society has evolved, Parliament has responded to ensure that these legal protections remain up-to-date and indeed relevant but of late many of Britains communities are beginning to comment that the twin sisters of British Jurisprudence, Justitia and Prudentia are no longer blind to difference nor prudent and seem to be displaying increasingly tangible bias.

The Dharmic Communities have been pressing Government for equality of access, equality of support and equality of treatment but recent developments indicate that these requests are falling on deaf ears. The NCHTUK, the HFB and the NSO have been working together to communicate to the Government that these inequalities which appear systemic are harming the minority Dharmic communities and the NSO recently presented these results, from the Sikh perspective to the Government. The concerns apply equally to the Hindu community and we are appreciative and whole heartedly supportive of the initiatives taken by Lord Singh and the NSO. The following is an extract of some of the issues raised by NSO with Government and we hope that working together we will be able to ensure greater equality for all Dharmic Communities.

                                                            Executive Summary

 Action Against Hate (July 2016) included reference to a number of government funded projects dedicated in tackling hate crime affecting Muslims and Jews. There was no reference to projects for Sikhs or any other non-Abrahamic faith group.

  • Despite the high profile ‘revenge’ attack for Lee Rigby on a Sikh dentist in Wales in 2015, and a catalogue of hate crimes against Sikhs here, and in the U.S where the first person to be killed in retribution for 9/11 was a Sikh, there is little focus on the community from government.
  • With the exception of the places of worship security fund, there has been little progress. The one initiative (with True Vision) looking to help support Hindu and Sikh victims of hate, announced in 2017, has not moved any further forwards, despite being announced a year ago.
  • ‘Prevention’ in the school setting must be inclusive of children of non-Abrahamic faiths.

 

This submission follows on from evidence submitted by NSO to this inquiry in January 2017.[1]

1 True Vision

Back in January 2017, we were heartened to see the government acknowledge a specific request in our submission to this very inquiry, by announcing specific funding for Hindu and Sikh communities in helping report hate crime via the police-reporting portal True Vision.[2] Despite an initial meeting with True Vision, and subsequent correspondence since, a year on the project appears to have come no further forwards.We would like the inquiry to establish the reason for the delay.

 

1.2 We understand True Vision is working with National Churchwatch (NC) in promoting a series of workshops talking with clergy about how to keep safe. This also involves the funding for NC to work with academics at Royal Holloway University to conduct research into anti-Christian hate. We would like a similar commitment and have established links with academics, who are already conducting research into the post 9/11 backlash Sikhs face and would be able to assist.We would like to see government funding commitment to support such research efforts.

 

1.3 We are aware of the publication of forthcoming Routledge academic volume titled: Racialization, Islamophobia and Mistaken Identity: The Sikh Experience.[3] This is being co-authored by Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal from the University of Birmingham and journalist Hardeep Singh, who is an officer in the NSO.

2Religious literacy

Much of the hatred directed at Sikhs is down to ignorance about Sikhism and Sikh articles of faith. This is why Sikhs and other non-Muslims are being recorded as victims of ‘Islamophobic hate crime’ by forces like the MET police. The figures we’ve obtained via FOI from the MET show that 25% of victims of so called ‘Islamophobic hate crime’ in 2016 are non-Muslims, and for the previous year the figure is 28%.S ome recent research on non-Muslim victims of Islamophobia (which includes Sikhs) by Professor Peter Hopkins from the University of Newcastle recommends, ‘increasing understanding of ethnic, religious and cultural differences.[4]We agree with this statement and the government must ensure steps for parity for all faith groups with this in mind.

..... 

3.1Bullying in schools

 As Professor Peter Hopkins points out ‘misidentification’ occurs in public places including schools.[5]Action Against Hatestates it would tackle bullying in schools with a ‘new programme to equip teachers to facilitate conversations about ‘difficult topics’ and carry out a new assessment of the level of anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist and other bullying in schools’. This involves working with the Anne Frank Trust and Streetwise, which run educational programmes.Sikh children, (in particular thosewith patkas) must also to be considered in the context of Islamophobia. There was the case from the U.S in which a boy is filming his classmates on a bus whilst they refer to him as a ‘terrorist’.[6] The video shot in 2015 went viral, but shows how visible difference can promote prejudice. We find it peculiar that the government hasn’t extended ‘prevention’ projects to other children from ‘visible’ faith minorities. We request an urgent review of this element with input from both the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education. The government must brief project leads in the Anne Frank Trust and Streetwise on this element to encourage a more inclusive faith community approach.

 

25 January 2018

 


[1] http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/home-affairs-committee/hate-crime-and-its-violent-consequences/written/45945.html

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-hate-crime-package-to-target-groups-at-need

[3] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Racialization-Islamophobia-Mistaken-Identity-Experience/dp/081535262X

[4] http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2017/03/islamophobia-otherethnicgroups/

[5] Ibid.

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-31695234


[i]Gov.uk. (2016). Hate crime action plan 2016 - GOV.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hate-crime-action-plan-2016 [Accessed 7 Dec. 2017].

[ii]Ibid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nchtuk The need to move beyond institutionalised othering and blind belief has never been greater. https://t.co/RPg4UyDteh
nchtuk RT @SikhMessenger: Here’s a link to our evidence from 2018 to @CommonsHomeAffs on hate crime & its violent consequences: https://t.co/t8Qd7
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