UK announces £117m security funding for Muslim sites

UK announces £117m security funding for Muslim sites
UK announces £117m security funding for Muslim sites

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The UK government said yesterday that it would provide £117 million to bolster security at mosques and other Muslim sites including schools and community centres across the country over the next four years. — AFP pic

LONDON, March 11 — The UK government said yesterday that it would provide £117 million (RM705 million) to bolster security at mosques and other Muslim sites including schools and community centres across the country over the next four years.

The pledge by the Home Office comes amid a surge in anti-Muslim hate incidents in the UK since the outbreak of the war between Israel and the Hamas militant group in Gaza last October.

“Anti-Muslim hatred has absolutely no place in our society,” Home Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.

“We will not let events in the Middle East be used as an excuse to justify abuse against British Muslims.”

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The security measures will include technology such as CCTV, alarm systems and perimeter fencing.

A further £31 million will also be made available to ensure the protection of democratic processes and institutions in response to growing extremist threats.

Tell MAMA, a group monitoring hate crimes against the Muslim community, said last month that it had recorded 2,010 hate incidents in the four months since Hamas’s deadly attack against Israel on October 7.

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It was the largest recorded number of cases in a four-month period, the group said, and up from 600 incidents over the same period in 2022-2023, a rise of 335 percent.

They included abusive behaviour, threats, assaults, vandalism, discrimination, hate speech and anti-Muslim literature.

Of the total number, Tell MAMA said 1,109 of the reported incidents occurred online.

Women were the target in 65 per cent of cases, the group added.

A Jewish charity, the Community Security Trust (CST), has also reported a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain after Hamas’s attack.

The charity, which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, recorded 4,103 “anti-Jewish hate incidents” last year, its highest annual tally since 1984.

That represented a 147 per cent increase on the 1,662 incidents recorded in 2022.

In February, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to provide more than £70 million over the next four years to protect Jewish community sites.

The attack by Hamas on southern Israel that triggered the war resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli figures.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign to destroy Hamas has killed more than 31,000 people in Gaza, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry. — AFP

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