JUST Yorkshire as part of its on-going commitment to challenging racial stereotypes and right wing populist discrimination calls out those media agencies and public figures that used the 22nd of May terrorist attack to further vilify the Muslim community in Manchester.
In the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Manchester which horrifically claimed the lives of 22 people and injured many more, left a whole nation grieving. We witnessed communities of all diversities and faith / non-faith coming together to grieve, support and stand in solidarity. We were heartened and fully support the statement made by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester in which he said, “Manchester terrorist Salman Abedi no more represents Muslims than Jo Cox’s murderer represents white people”.
In spite of statements like above, and a community response that remains unparalleled, some politicians and media channels have taken to lay the blame at the door for the terrorist attack on the shoulders of Muslim communities contending that ‘they are somehow not doing enough’. We at JUST Yorkshire strongly condemn any such allegation and wish to speak out against the further vilification of Muslim communities, given it is the Muslim community that has been the biggest victim of terrorism worldwide.
Less than 48 hours after the terrorist attack on Manchester, hate crimes, namely racism and Islamaphobic attcks that averaged 28 incidents a day more than doubled to 56 by Wednesday (source- Greater Manchester Police).
We call upon public authorities and the Government to acknowledge the responsible role local communities pre and post the terrorist attack, and emphasise the role that the Muslim community in particular took in highlighting the risks and concerns Salam Abedi posed. This includes a local Mosque who not only raised their concerns about the Manchester Bomber they banned him too from their premises. Couple this with the fact that multiple referrals had been made to the anti-terror hotline from more than one source. Despite this, it is our understanding that authorities failed to act.
To this end JUST Yorkshire calls:
- For a Public Inquiry that systematically investigates why despite numerous referrals, community intelligence was not acted upon.
- We would like to understand how many reports/referrals of concern were sent to respective authorities and why they were not acted upon – including over what time period.
- A retraction from Paul Nuttal – Leader of UKIP in his statement on the Sunday Politics show in which he contends ‘ Muslim communities need to step up to the plate’.
- Call for immediate and appropriate acknowledgement by Government and Public Authorities of the role of the Muslim community played in providing intelligence in this case.
- An acknowledgement that as a result of the relevant authorities NOT taking action to investigate/apprehend Salman Abedi potentially resulted in missed opportunities to prevent the atrocity of last week in Manchester.
- To acknowledge as a result of this non-action, namely the Muslim communities were subject to grossly negative impact across the country, including a more than doubling in hate crime, namely racism and Islamaphobia.