‘Tell MAMA’: Not Off to a Good Start!

Last week saw the launch of a new government-funded Muslim initiative called “Tell MAMA” by Faith Matters which aims to measure anti-Muslim attacks in the UK.

There have been a number of commendable efforts in recent years to try and monitor anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK with Islamophobia Watch and ENGAGE as well as others doing sterling work in trying to keep track of these incidents and trying to bring them to wider notice. A major failing has been that of a number of police forces around the country which still astonishingly fail to properly record and publish details of hate crimes based on religiously-aggravated factors. If these attacks are not properly logged by the police then how can they draw up plans to tackle this social blight?

Anti-Muslim bigotry has been openly stirred up by large sections of our mainstream press – see the testimony I gave to the Leveson Inquiry for a number of examples –  and indeed a number of our politicians. Witness David Cameron’s shameful speech in Munich in February 2011 in which he openly derided multiculturalism much to the delight of the English Defence League who recognised and appreciated the speech as an endorsement of their own aggressive position towards UK Muslims.

Last year, Spinwatch published a must-read report entitled “The Cold War on British Muslims“. The report looked at some high-profile think tanks, including Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion and how “they have implicitly rejected counter-terrorism policies based on public safety, advocating instead a much broader campaign of political counter-subversion” with their efforts seeming to be designed to “stigmatise and even criminalise politically active Muslims”.

And who are the main funders of these think tanks? From the Spinwatch press release:

“The Cold War on British Muslims also reveals for the first time the network of individuals and foundations that are bankrolling both think-tanks.  Donors identified in the report include the neoconservative Rosenkranz Foundation in the United States, and hardline Zionists like Lord Kalms and the late Cyril Stein in the UK.  It reveals that both think-tanks share major donors with a number of controversial organisations including the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, the Israel-Diaspora Trust (an organisation founded by the late Rabbi Sidney Brichto, a passionate supporter of Israel and scourge of its critics inside and outside the UK Jewish community) and the Anglo-Israel Association (founded in 1949 by the Christian Zionist Sir Wyndham Deedes).”

So, those fomenting anti-Muslim bigotry are well-funded and well-organised with extensive links to some senior figures in government as well as the mainstream media.

Readers will recall the hysterical campaigns to ban Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Zakir Naik and the Palestinian activist Shaykh Raed Salah from the UK. Who helped to incite the media in those cases whose reporting was dripping with anti-Muslim venom? Last September, the Guardian published an important news article which shed light on those who were exerting influence on the government behind the scenes. The Guardian found that the Jewish organisation, the Community Security Trust, had been involved in efforts to get Shaykh Raed Salah banned from the UK.

The CST also helps fund and provide trained Jewish guards outside Jewish schools and synagogues. This might seem commendable but you can well imagine what would happen if Muslims did the same. You would see front pages decrying the existence of “Islamic vigilantes” faster than you could say “Richard Desmond.”And can you imagine if other faith communities all decided to have a similar guards. It would be madness. We are supposed to be one country and the duty to protect places of worship and public institutions such as schools is that of the police. What we should be encouraging is better cooperation between all faith communities and the police. Not funding the creation of more quangos that are unable to investigate hate crimes in the first place – which after all is the job of the police – and whose only contribution appears to be to provide the government with a fig-leaf to say that they are ‘doing something’ to combat anti-Muslim bigotry when in reality they are doing nothing of the sort.

Anyway, it was not exactly an encouraging sign when news emerged that the CST attended the launch of the “Tell MAMA” initiative and were described by Faith Matters as “trailblazers” in the area of combating hate crimes! And how likely is it that “Tell MAMA” will point to the role played by shadowy funders of right-wing think tanks in inciting anti-Muslim bigotry? Well, we’ll see…but I can’t really imagine their friends at the CST being too pleased if they were to do so, do you?

This is the perennial dilemma that some Muslim organisations face. You simply cannot be politically independent if you are economically dependent on the government for your source of funding. Many Muslim organisations have recognised this and have been careful  to establish a firm base in their own community so that they do not become trapped by the government in this manner. Still, it demonstrates a growing problem that I have seen for some time now. A number of Muslim organisations have now sadly got themselves in the position of having key personnel in various posts like Chief Executive or National Coordinator etc and whose salaries are paid by the government in the form of grants or PREVENT-related funding. These personnel then are involved in busily promoting and trying to make more palatable to their memberships other government-funded initiatives. It is a tawdry circle.

It is vital for both the purpose of transparency and better governance that memberships of Muslim organisations require their executive members to fully declare all their sources of income to help avoid these types of conflicts of interest.

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24 Responses to ‘Tell MAMA’: Not Off to a Good Start!

  1. Yasin Rehman says:

    I can’t see this getting much take up. Your right though. Its the police’s responsibility to ensure law and order and they should be getting their act together and collecting the data.

  2. David, Anti-theist says:

    The UK does not want ‘multiculturalism’ we have our own culture and we do not want a hate offensive from benefit tourists. Please feel free to go to an islamic country and enjoy the freedoms there. We all know how intolerant islamic states are,(that is why you are in the UK one presumes)and how they are all ruled by brutal dictators and corrupt families who enjoy all the pleasures of the flesh when in the UK, in case you didn’t know.
    How dim are you religionists? Can’t you see how you are laughed at by your leaders? Religions are simply a way to repress superstitious people. This starts by frightening children into believing religious garbage that is neither truth nor fact. You are victims,wake up and reclaim your life

    • Michael Munnik says:

      One ought to presume nothing, David. The name “Inayat Bunglawala” does not preclude one from being in the UK because one was born here, because one’s parents were born here, etc. Just (and now it is I who am presuming) as you were.

  3. Morpheus says:

    No hotline for non-Muslim girls getting groomed, drugged and gang raped.

    Or for non-Muslims getting jumped on by Muslim gangs.

    It’s hard to have sympathy for a community who exibits nothing but a “me, me me” attitude and gets appeased and protected far more than any other religion in the country.

    Considering the disproportionate amount of Muslims in prison, and expercially high-security prisons. Combined with the illegal drugs trade dominance by Muslim gangs. It is the non-Muslims who are under threat, from Muslim supremacism. Which the Muslim communtiy doesn’t even treat or acknowledge Muslim supremacy as a problem.

  4. Pingback: Muslim hate crime phone line aims to help victims | The Tasneem Project

  5. Yakoub says:

    it’s amazing how someone can impute a personality onto entire national faith community, whilst conflating an alleged Islamist supremacism within that community with drug crime (as if getting high on smack is a valid Islamic practice), and keep a straight face. I laughed, anyway. Now returning to the topic of this blog – I’ve posted a link to this blog on the Tell Muma FB page. Be interesting to see whether it stays there. The degree of government lackyism in any organization is often proportionate to its inability to confront criticism, in my experience.

  6. Yakoub says:

    And the link to this blog posted on the Tell Muma FB page was removed within 30 minutes!

  7. Sarah AB says:

    Here’s a quote from a speech by Baroness Warsi.

    “Second, British Muslims need to learn from and build on the work done throughout history by other communities.
    I want to refer particularly to the British Jewish Community and the work done by the Community Security Trust.
    Week after week, the CST works with the police and the Jewish community to collect data and details of anti-Semitism in Britain…
    ….helping to defeat those bigots who say that British anti-Semitism no longer exists.
    British Muslims should learn from them.
    There is an urgent need for a data collection project.
    The first step in addressing the problem is to measure the scale of it.”

  8. Yakoub says:

    “Holy Neocons, Batman! Does that mean Tell MAMA has the endorsement of *gulps* Harry’s Place?” “Let’s hope not, Robin. I wouldn’t wish that association on my worst enemy…”

  9. Sarah AB says:

    In defence of Tell Mama, and if it helps, it also had a glowing endorsement from Press TV.

    • Since when has McCarthy’s Place welcomed comments from Iran’s Press TV? Oh, when it suits their agenda. Well, I’d never have guessed!

      Any actual response to the arguments I raised including the disgraceful funding by some Jewish businessmen of right wing think tanks known for their hostile output about UK Muslims?

  10. Yakoub says:

    Glowing endorsement from Press TV? I’d say it was reported as a welcome development, but let readers judge for themselves: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/227930.html

  11. Sarah AB says:

    I don’t have an opinion about the Jewish businessmen. I was interested in the bit of the post about Tell Mama because I posted about that myself after reading about it on Hope not Hate. Thinking it seems a perfectly sensible initiative has nothing to do with having an ‘agenda’ unless it is the same ‘agenda’ which made me demonstrate against the EDL, or made me sign HnH’s tone down the shrill campaign or made me point out that your testimony seemed ok, here.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2012/02/08/i-wont-voluntarily-agree-to-selfcensorship/

  12. Bob says:

    It’s perhaps not entirely surprising that Harry’s Place has welcomed an initiative involving Faith Matters:
    http://hurryupharry.org/2009/06/15/congratulations-to-fiyaz-mughal-obe/

  13. Sarah AB says:

    I don’t think I had much of an opinion, personally, about you swearing – only about the possibility someone might be using your identity to comment on HP as a couple of people raised that concern. It would take me some time to look into the Spinwatch story, but I’d rather address what I thought of the organisations than whether or not they are funded by Jewish businessmen. I certainly don’t agree with some of Douglas Murray’s views, for example.

    I don’t see what the CST’s support for Tell Mama should be dragged into that story in any case. The CST has a track record of speaking out against Islamophobia
    http://blog.thecst.org.uk/?p=983
    and sometimes get called ‘kapos’ for not being zealous enough supporters of Israel. I remember, but can’t track down, a very good discussion they published explaining why the apparent intersection between Muslims and antisemitic attacks was misleading, and could mostly be explained with reference to demographics.

    • Sarah: You seem to be engaged in trying to rewrite history a teeny bit! You wrote a blog about me on McCarthy’s Place because I swore at two trolls! The link is above in my comment of 9.14pm yesterday.

      Anyway, back to the CST. I am afraid I can’t share your assessment of the CST which I believe should not be getting a penny in taxpayers money, let alone the millions of pounds it currently gets from the government. Mike Whine of the CST describes it as the ‘Jewish Defence Agency in the UK’. Well, the job of safeguarding property and lives is that of the police. If British Jews want more than this then they should surely pay for it out of their own pockets – not get taxpayer handouts. Also, I mentioned the shadowy role that the CST has been playing in trying to influence the government to exclude prominent Muslim activists and speakers from the UK. You will be aware of the vile media campaigns that accompanied those efforts. So, I regard the CST as very much part of the problem when it comes to anti-Muslim bigotry I am afraid.

  14. Sarah AB says:

    Sorry – I had actually completely forgotten the swearing aspect of the original post – there was a conversation about swearing in the thread, which was a bit different, and I thought you meant that.

  15. Pingback: Muslim hate crime phone line aims to help victims | The Tasneem Project Blog

  16. Richard BJ says:

    Too many people call themselves Muslims, and no-one challenges their bringing Islam into disrepute by their non-Islamic attitudes and actions. The Prophet (PBUH) must utterly despair at what has been done to his simple religion of prayer, charitable giving, fasting and pilgrimmage. When is someone in the Muslim world going to stand up and say that the Muslim Community has gone astray? And the warring factions with Islam are all man-made, and anti-Islamic simply by their very existence

  17. HPWatcher says:

    Sarah AB has a spectacular record of conveniently “forgetting” things and of favourably misreading comments from favorites, however extreme the views expressed. She is quite dishonest.

  18. J says:

    But they must of come here in fear of something in the first place so it’s less presumption and more educated guess if not fact.

  19. Chris Baines says:

    It seems to me from reading the speech delivered by Cameron (link above) that from a broad premise which is acceptable to all groups in society he inexorably and uncomfortably continues to narrow his focus on a particular issue until what follows is completely out of focus with reality. If I were to critique the piece I would have to say that it is a syllogistic hatchet job of the cleverest kind: one designed like a hatchet to violently club the audience before they realise what has happened to them. If you are docile enough, the piece does a very effective job. What a wonderous piece of misdirection; what excellent production; and flawless delivery on the part of the puppet hack enouncing the words. Were it not for the rather laboured script I would have given it five stars. As it is, it gets not even one. A derivative Hollywood piece which does not even deserve such a write-up. Hoot!

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