1) Are you working with other organisations?
We work in partnership with a range of mainstream and statutory organisations such as Victim Support, local police forces, advice agencies and with social media platforms, (where applicable). We share platforms with some organisations and we have a ‘no platform’ policy of talking at events with extreme groups.
Just because we share platforms with organisations does not mean that we are part of them or that we work with them. For example, we have shared platforms with the Quilliam Foundation, an anti-extremism organisation, who kindly organised an event for us. They are a separate organisation and we, as Faith Matters, co-ordinating the TELL MAMA project, are a separate organisation. Our independence is fundamental to us and we will maintain our independence for the benefit of users and beneficiaries.
2) Are you the only organisation undertaking anti-Muslim monitoring work?
Yes, no other organisation in the UK is undertaking anti-Muslim mapping, measuring and monitoring work. We are leaders in the field in developing knowledge in this area and whilst some organisations may suggest that they do work in anti-Muslim prejudice monitoring, they simply do not focus wholly on it or have the capability to fully analyse what is happening at a grass-roots level. Obviously, the police do, yet our work is providing a third-party community based service where anti-Muslim bigotry can be reported in.
3) Are you a Muslim organisation?
No, we work with faith communities through Faith Matters and we are not a ‘Muslim organisation’. What is key though is that TELL MAMA provides a community centred focus for information on anti-Muslim hate to be reported in and this is unique about the service. As we have stated before, one or two organisations will suggest that they do work on anti-Muslim hate crimes and what they do is to provide community information on where to report in. They do not have systems for case recording, data collection, analyses and routes into police forces where cases can be worked upon. We do and we hope that they will ensure that members of the public refer in information. Sadly though, some organisations who work with Muslim communities could do much more to ensure that people report into us and they choose not to provide a range of information sources to Muslim communities, whilst talking about ‘empowering’ Muslim organisations. This actually does a dis-service to Muslim communities.
4) What is your stance about homophobia and intra-Muslim bigotry?
We understand that people will have their own religious beliefs about issues relating to LGBTQ relationships. Our position is clear. We are not the ‘thought police’ and people can believe what they want. However, if that hate and bigotry is promoted publicly and targeted against people from these communities, or against groups like Ahmadiyya communities, we will support people reporting in that bigotry and we would expect that action is taken. Just as Muslims should not be targeted, so other communities should not be targeted and our Director, Fiyaz Mughal, has also stated this on many occasions, texts of which can be found here, here and here
5) How can mosques and Islamic institutions help you?
We need them to report in hate crimes and they can do so through the following methods listed below. We also want individuals to come forward and report in anti-Muslim hate, whether at a street level or on-line, to us. It is essential for people to access justice and to stand up and be counted. We are also aware that some may not, and we can take in anonymous reports from them. The key here is, don’t suffer in silence.
TELL MAMA can be contacted by phone on 0845 456 1226. By e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org, by Twitter on @tellmamauk and by Facebook: TELLMAMAUK. Individuals can also text us and we can call you back: 01157070007