Several organisations have met in Liverpool to discuss plans for a national project to help combat the rise of racial hate crime.
The meeting came as MPs called for ASBOs to be slapped on social media trolls who evoke hate crime.
Organisations such as Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), Merseyside Police and the Anthony Walker Foundation, held a meeting at the Al Ghazali centre on Smithdown Road, to discuss plans for a new strategy aimed at stopping racist attacks.
MEND’s Sufyan Ismail told JMU Journalism: “Attacks on Muslims and particularly Muslim women are happening more and more all across the country.
“There are three elements which need to be addressed. These includes the lack of these kind of hate crimes being reported to police, the media’s representation of Muslims and integration into the community.”
Working with Merseyside police and other organisations Ismail said they hope to be able to create a strategy to better educate people to recognise and report a hate crime.
Event organiser Kamal Mashjari, from Al Ghazli, told the story of Sally*, a white woman from Liverpool who had converted to Islam and had begun wearing a hijab. She has since been subjected to abuse from random strangers on several occasions.
Sally, who wishes for her identity to remain anonymous, said: “One night I was walking down Park Road when a group of four young lads through a full sized brick across the road at me. They knew me and I knew them and yet they still did it, as I walked passed they shouted ‘p*** lover’.”
A spokesperson from the Anthony Walker Foundation said that over the last six months there has been a strong increase in racial hatred directed at certain ethnic groups.
Merseyside Police said that the statistics on hate crime reports are in no way reflective of how much racial hatred there is as most of it goes unreported.
Jessica Alder, of Gainsborough Road in Smithdown, spoke out against the MPs latest battle on hate crime
She told JMU Journalism: “Anyone has access online and I think what you have to remember is that punishing people from making these statements on Twitter is all good but it won’t make a difference to their ignorance.
“What is important is to educate the public and in order to do this firstly we must look at our media and then educate.”
Another meeting will take place in March to inform the public of details for the new strategy.