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Message from IFN Co-Chairs in light of some recent incidents

12 March 2018

The last few days have seen a number of disturbing incidents, from hate-filled letters to a number of Muslims headed 'Punish a Muslim Day', to a Sikh being asked by a venue in Nottingham to remove his turban or leave, and racist chanting outside a student's room at Nottingham Trent University. There was also recently a report of a Sikh having their turban dislodged while waiting for a meeting outside Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, apparently by someone who thought the Sikh was Muslim.  The level of reported hate incidents, more generally, continues to be high. 

The climate is a disturbing one and responding to hate and religious illiteracy will be on the agendas of both the IFN local inter faith practitioner day in London next Monday and the Faith Communities Forum's meeting this week.  

These circumstances underline the importance of effective prevention and response, including, very significantly, that of faith and inter faith bodies.  You may wish to circulate or recirculate to your members the document Looking after One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities.  If you are among the bodies which are working with their local authorities on protocols for preventing and responding to hate crime, or if you are involved in other faith-based or inter faith responses to this issue, it would be helpful if you could let the IFN office have details.

Best wishes, Bishop Richard Atkinson and Jatinder Singh Birdi

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