Adopting a Barnet-wide definition of Islamophobia

Joint Motion in the name of Cllr Dan Thomas and Cllr Barry Rawlings
Council: Tuesday 20th October 2020

This Council notes that:

  1. The Council agreed to create and adopt a definition of Islamophobia in July 2019
  2. According to the 2011 census, over 36,000 Muslims live in Barnet, making up over 8% of the borough’s population
  3. Muslim communities in Barnet are members of traditions from around the globe, including but not limited to Albania, Iran, Pakistan and Somalia
  4. The below definition was written from consultation with Barnet’s Muslim community, and has the support of the Barnet Islamic Forum.

This Council believes that:

  1. No form of racial or religious hatred has any place in the London Borough of Barnet
  2. It is right that a definition of Islamophobia in Barnet was built by the Barnet Muslim community

This Council adopts the following definition of Islamophobia:

Anti-Muslim prejudice, also known as islamophobia, is a perception of Muslims, often expressed as adislike or hatred towards an individual, a group or their property, institutions and facilities for possessing the perceived characteristics of a Muslim.

This prejudice is often rooted in racism, and can be manifested in many ways, including but not limited to abusive behaviour, threats of violence, damage and desecration of property, assault and extreme violence.

Condolences following the death of Sgt Matt Rattana

On behalf of BMFF (Barnet Multi Faith Forum) we would like to send our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and colleagues and to the wider Police Family of Sgt Matt Rattana

Our thoughts and prayers are with them and all who knew him as they grieve for him on this very sad occasion

We pray for Sergeant Rattana’s Soul to Rest in Peace – Amen

With love, friendship and prayers

Asmina Remtulla, Secretary
on behalf of the President and Chair of BMFF

A Governance Befitting Humanity and the Path toward a Just Global Order

This month sees the 75th anniversary of the UN. To mark the occasion the Baha’i International Community released a statement titled “A Governance Befitting Humanity and the Path toward a Just Global Order”. This was presented to the Secretary-General and all the ambassadors of member states of the United Nations.

The statement highlights the need for systems of global cooperation to be strengthened if humanity is to address the serious challenges of our time and seize the immense opportunities of the coming years for progress.

To view the pdf report and read the full statement please click on the image

Article on domestic abuse and covid19, published in Family Matters, the Family Court magazine.

by Tony Melnikoff

One thing that was very noticeable during my time on both the Criminal and Family Benches was how DA always spiked whenever families were “locked together”. And not just physical abuse, but also emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, and coercive and controlling behaviour. This was especially prevalent during holiday periods, with Christmas / Boxing Day being a prime example. It was therefore sad, but perhaps inevitable, that we would see a surge in such cases following the lockdown on 23rd March.

The risk was acknowledged eventually by the Government. On 14th April they issued a document Covid19: Support for victims of Domestic Abuse. In it they stated that:

“The household isolation instruction as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.”

On 22nd April The Department of Health & Social Care issued a safeguarding document, “Aimed at professionals and organisations who are involved in supporting and safeguarding adults and children.” The document admitted that “Emerging evidence from statutory and voluntary agencies across the UK has emphasised the increased risks of domestic abuse, with Refuge reporting a 25 per cent increase in calls and online requests since the lockdown began in March 2020.”     Then on 27th April the Home Affairs Select Committee issued a report calling for “Urgent action … to protect victims and prevent perpetrators from exploiting the lockdown to increase abuse …  We are calling for new emergency funding for support services,” the report continued,  “new ways for victims to access help through supermarkets and pharmacies, outreach visits to known vulnerable households, support for children, and a new guarantee of safe housing for anyone needing to leave their home during lockdown because of abuse … The emotional, physical and social scars from domestic abuse can last a lifetime.”        While on 2nd June, The Independent newspaper reported that: “Calls to the UK’s national domestic abuse helpline have risen by 66 per cent and visits to its website have surged by 950 per cent since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. Frontline service providers told The Independent they were bracing for a surge in victims coming forward as the UK starts to ease restrictions.”

My questions therefore are:

What action did you take to try to identify victims of DA within your communities?

What help and assistance did you give to those identified as victims?

Where applicable, what help did you give to perpetrators to attempt to guide them away from their abusive path?

Should further lockdowns be necessary what might you do differently?

Keep safe everybody.

Best regards

Tony

Download a pdf of the publication

Beirut explosion a BMFF expression of Sympathy and Condolences

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and to the injured suffering from the tragedy of the Beirut explosion.

We express our deep condolences, and solidarity to all those who have local families and, in the UK, caught up in this tragedy, and express anxiety for those who have also lost their homes and livelihoods.

We salute all those helping to find, caring for and offering their homes to survivors and note the messages of support sent by the Queen, international governments, agencies, from countries bordering Lebanon, and faith organisations who have all offered immediate assistance in Lebanon’s time of need.

Signed jointly on Behalf of the BMFF Executive
Esmond Rosen President of Barnet Multi Faith Forum
Trevor Alexander Chair of the Barnet Multi faith Forum

Hendon Mosques reopens after lockdown

…it feel good to be back !! As one worshiper put it.

I am a trustee and a coordinator at Hendon Mosque. Let me put something into perspective under lockdown everyone has been waiting for the shops, restaurants, gyms and other places to open up. You can’t help but notice the queues outside  places like TK Max, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s etc and even some stores inside Brent Cross Shopping centre.
However, but maybe Very few will have noticed the somewhat relatively low key smaller queues that have began forming outside our places of worship, especially outside our Hendon Mosque. For those who religion or faith is not retail I can’t begin to explain to you all the look of joy on people’s faces attending our mosque.
For us as volunteers and custodians of the mosque, we have never felt so much happiness in opening our doors wide for the first time since lockdown started. There has  been a huge amount of behind- the-scene effort & work and thinking that has been needed to take place before we reached the decision of opening our doors. But I can tell you this much …it has been well worth it !!!

I think when we closed we never thought it would be so long before we would have to reopen. And we never thought that we would have to change so radically our whole approach.

There is immense sadness as well in opening our doors as we are missing congregation members who are no longer with us in this world today as a result of Covid.

Unlike some other faiths our mosques are predominantly about group worship/prayers. We have had to manage this very very carefully and we have had to introduce a booking system in place for our large congregational prayers. Of course like anything new when first been introduced we too have teething problems we have technical hitches and we have human resource issues. But we’ve managed!!
We have managed the challenges as well as the expectation from the community to deliver and we will continue to resume congregational prayers in the safest possible environment in which we can do this.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very heartfelt warm Eid Mubarak celebration message and assure you all that as trustees we take our responsibilities very seriously of the safety of everyone who comes and walks through our doors.

Eid Mubarak

Nayim Kadri

Wiley Statement by Barnet Multi Faith Forum (BMFForum)

We, Barnet Multi Faith Forum (BMFForum) condemn the antisemitic, provocative, and dangerous, insults against the Jewish community by the rap performer Wiley which were totally unacceptable and irresponsible.

We affirm the dignity of members of all faiths to stand together as we did in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, to condemn this and any other hate filled views that target one community or faith group, which seek to divide us.

We expect social media platforms to act swiftly and decisively to remove such hateful material whenever it occurs.

We are living in volatile and challenging times in which emotions run high and there are those who are purposely fuelling the fire.

The mission of the BMFForum is to promote dialogue, knowledge, and education, by organising events and activities that lead to a better understanding of the complexities around religion, faith, and belief, this builds upon mutual respect, trust, and confidences.

There is therefore more need than ever for our Forum and our other partners, to maintain our objective of supporting one another, as neighbours and communities, promoting our messages of zero tolerance to hate.

Together we affirm respect for our Jewish community here in Barnet. Together we can build respect for all in Barnet.

For social media: #wearenotdivided #zerotoleranceofhate

Esmond Rosen
President of BMFForum

For and on behalf of the BMFForum Executive

Places of Worship Protective Security Funding Scheme Opens for Bids

Government funding to improve the physical security of places of worship in England and Wales.

The Home Office is providing a total of £3.2 million in grant funding this year to help places of worship who feel they are vulnerable to hate crime to install more secure gates, locks, alarms and CCTV in order to deter and prevent hate crime attacks.

Places of worship in England and Wales, including churches, gurdwaras, mosques, temples and associated faith community centres, can apply for grants of up to £56,000 per place of worship.

The funding can cover the costs of up to three security measures from the following list:

  • CCTV (fixed cameras, not pan-tilt cameras)
  • Fencing and/or railings (no more than 2.1m high)
  • Manually operated pedestrian and vehicle gates
  • Automated vehicle gates
  • Security doors and locks
  • Reinforcing single glazed windows (with anti-shatter film or bars/grilles)
  • Intruder alarms
  • Access control (fob or keypad)
  • Video intercom systems
  • Lighting (building mounted)

The funding only covers the provision and installation of these security measures. It does not cover other associated costs such as licensing and planning permission, or ongoing costs such as charges for annual service, maintenance and monitoring.

The deadline for applications is 23:59 on 9 August 2020.

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. Esotec Limited
    Home Office
    Southmead Industrial Estate
    Unit 13 Moorbrook Park
    Didcot
    OX11 7HP
    Email: pow_sfs_2020@esotec.co.uk

See the full Govt website information here