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Message from IFN Co-Chairs - Inter Faith Week and hate crime

8 August 2018

The e-bulletin issued last week included many positive stories about local and national inter faith projects and about Inter Faith Week at the 100 days away point.  We very much hope that you will be taking part in Inter Faith Week and will encourage your members to do so.

The e-bulletin also carried some updates about the tougher aspects of religious and community identity, including a piece about ‘political parties, Anti-semitism and Islamophobia’ and a separate update about reported increase in hate crime targeting particular communities.

The issue of hate crime continues to be of great concern.  The report on the horrific torture/attack on a Muslim convert in Guisborough, for which two women were jailed last week, stands out. However, many people of different backgrounds continue to experience abuse and sometimes physical attack.  Places of worship, too, are vulnerable as the attacks on adjacent Sikh and Muslim places of worship in Leeds and on the synagogue in Exeter remind us.

Faith communities and inter faith bodies play an important role in standing up to hatred – both in support of each other, as reflected in responses in Exeter and Leeds, and more widely. 

As IFN’s publication, with partners, Looking After One Another: the Safety and Security of our Faith Communities underlines, it is important to report hate incidents and to work to prevent them. 

Best wishes, Bishop Richard Atkinson and Jatinder Singh Birdi

The Rt Revd Richard Atkinson OBE and Jatinder Singh Birdi, Co-Chairs