Conference highlights problems of hate crime

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Liverpool played host to a Stand Up To Racism conference this weekend to discuss how to tackle the rising levels of hate crime across the Merseyside region.

Issues were highlighted by a number of speakers at Jack Jones House, including Mumin Khan from Quilliam Mosque, to discuss the rise of right-wing politics, austerity and strategies to help bring different racial and religious communities closer together.

However, it was hate crime that played a central role in the proceedings and Steve Farley, from the action group Stand Up To Racism, told JMU Journalism: “I think what’s important is challenging all the time and that when you hear racist language, you object to it.

“What we need to do is challenge racist language and that’s a start. If we hear racist language we should say we’re uncomfortable with it, or that it’s not acceptable, or whatever you feel is an acceptable responsible.

“That would be a good start because the problem is people think they can talk like that and get away with it. I think that’s what has changed in the last eighteen months to two years.”

Nahella Ashraf, also from Stand up to Racism, concurred but also stressed the importance of the public making their voices heard by the most senior figures in Parliament too. She told JMU Journalism: “It’s not just about raising awareness in your own community, it’s about sending a clear message to the Government.

“To tell Theresa May it’s not OK to have a state visit for Donald Trump and to legitimise his politics, because it’s not acceptable.

“It’s the wrong message to send and I think that’s why the protests are important. Especially to tell Theresa May that we’re holding her accountable to this, inviting Trump for a State visit at the same time as she’s turned her back on refugees.”

Looking to the future, she added: “For me, the ideal situation would be to see Stand Up to Racism groups in every workplace, in every college. I want to see more people wearing the badges, but more than anything I want to see such a massive demonstration on March 18th.”

Source: JMU Journalism


About Joshua Doherty, JMU Journalism