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Standing together against hate crime

A statement by the Board of Trustees of the Inter Faith Network for the UK issued during National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2023. Includes reference to impacts in the UK of the 7 October Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel and the subsequent Israel/Hamas war

20 October 2023

This is National Hate Crime Awareness Week. The 2023 Week comes soon after release of Government hate crime figures for 2022-23 which show a 9% increase in England and Wales in reported hate incidents linked to religious identity. Comparable figures published for Scotland reflect an 8% increase.

We urge the reporting of incidents to the police or through relevant third party organisations such as the Community Security Trust (antisemitic incidents); Tell MAMA (anti Muslim hate incidents); and Sikh Guard. Vital in tackling hate crime is rapid and effective response from the police and, where cases are pursued, by the courts. Important, too, are educational and restorative justice programmes and also grant schemes such as those which provide funding for security of places of worship and faith community centres.

It is also vital that faith communities support each other where the safety of each other’s places of worship and premises or the safety of their members may be threatened. In the words of the title of IFN’s guidance, Looking after one another: The safety and security of our faith communities, “An attack on one is an attack on all”.

We recognise that at the present time there are even higher than usual levels of anxiety and concern about community safety. Following the current impact on UK communities of terrorism, conflict and suffering in Israel and Gaza  there has been a very sharp increase in anti-Muslim hate incidents and antisemitic hate incidents reported to Tell MAMA, the Community Security Trust and the Police, as well as concern about targeting of individuals due to mistaken identity.  

As Looking after one another emphasises, working locally for positive inter faith relations and building and sustaining networks of trust provides a strong basis for preventing hate incidents and responding to them.  In recent days, that local strength of connection has been manifest in a number of prayer events and statements, such as those made by faith leaders in Bradford, Manchester and Nottingham, which call on people to hold fast to long established relationships of trust.

As well as responding through reporting hate incidents and raised security, it is vital that we stand together and respond in solidarity where people would seek to divide through inflammatory rhetoric or intimidation.

Views on situations and actions in the UK and internationally may differ (indeed may differ profoundly, with people deeply affected by events); what cannot and must not waiver is our commitment as people of different faiths in the UK to maintaining a safe environment for our lives together and to sustaining and continuing to develop relationships of trust and respect.

A statement by the Board of Trustees of the Inter Faith Network for the UK



  1. Media queries to the Inter Faith Network: email  
  2. This statement can be found at and a copy of IFN’s statement making policy at  
  3. Looking After One Another, the Safety and Security of Our Faith Communities – published by IFN in partnership with: the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; the Home Office; the Crown Prosecution Service; the Equality and Human Rights Commission; the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council. (Updated 2023)
  4. In England and Wales in the year ending March 2023, where the perceived religion of the victim was recorded, 2 in 5 (39%) of religious hate crime offences were targeted against Muslims (3,452 offences). The next most commonly targeted group were Jewish people, who were targeted in around 1 in 6 (17%) of religious hate crimes (1,510 offences). In Scotland there were 576 charges with a religious aggravation reported in 2022-23, 8% more than in 2021-22. Hate Crime in Scotland 2022-23 | COPFS Hate crime statistics for Northern Ireland are published quarterly by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 
  5. The Community Security Trust reported on 18 October that in the ten days from 7 October and 18 October, it had recorded at least 457 antisemitic incidents across the UK - this is the highest ever total reported to CST across a twelve-day period since CST began recording antisemitic incidents since 1984.
  6. Between October 7 and October 19, Tell MAMA recorded 291 cases of anti-Muslim hate – a six-fold increase from the same period in 2022.      
  7. Report hate crimes and incidents online through True Vision or via 3rd parties eg those listed below; at a police station; or by ringing the police on 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency).  True Vision:  Community Security Trust:  Tell MAMA: Sikh Guard: Stop Hate UK:
  8. The National Counter Terrorism Security Office provides resources to assist places of worship on security at and advice on staying safe from terrorism can be found at
  9. National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place each October. Further information about it can be found at
  10. The Inter Faith Network for the UK was founded in 1987 to advance public knowledge and mutual understanding of the teachings, traditions and practices of the different faith communities in Britain and to promote good relations between people of different faiths in this country. It works with its member bodies and others to carry out these aims. IFN links in membership: national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies; and academic institutions and educational bodies concerned with inter faith issues.