As we move into 2016, it is important to reflect on what has been achieved for the public over the last year.
Tell MAMA is now moving into its fourth year of existence and the results over the last year have been humbling. But this has been about how we have made a difference. When we stop making a difference, then it is time for any project or organisation to re-assess its future.
So these are the successes over the last year which have helped in tackling anti-Muslim prejudice and in ensuring stronger and more cohesive communities, whilst also helping to push back far right groups and their narratives.
— We were the first organisation to call out the large spike in anti-Muslim hate incidents that were reported to us by members of the public after the horrendous terrorist killings in Paris in November 2015. We acted, again, as an early warning indicator against a rise in anti-Muslim prejudice and community tensions.
— We worked with Ministers and senior officials in informing them around risks relating to anti-Muslim prejudice and in the need to ensure better recording of anti-Muslim hate incidents.
— Our material was sourced by over 768 local, national and international press sources over the last year. This made Tell MAMA, the leading organisation in creating a wider awareness of anti-Muslim prejudice and we will continue to push hard in the coming year.
— We reached out to over 2.8 million people in the UK on-line and our reach has meant that we received cases from the US, South America and other countries. Whilst we would like to have helped, our main and key priority is the UK, hence we did not record or count these cases. (Only UK based cases are included in our annual reports).
— We were one of two organisations, (the other being the Community Security Trust), who signed a partnership and data sharing agreement with police forces in England and Wales. This means that we have started to receive data from forces to add to the self-referrals for assistance that we receive in Tell MAMA. This year, our projections are that we will have over 2,000 anti-Muslim hate incidents logged.
— We have now assisted over 5,600 people with casework, advice, emotional and signposting support since we started work in March 2012.
— We have been successful in achieving over 524 arrests and 412 prosecutions since March 2012. These are figures from police forces who have fed results back to us and the figure may well be higher.
— We have disrupted far right activity on-line and ensured that over 1,370 acounts have been closed on Facebook and Twitter. Again, these are from figures that we have received when social media providers have fed this information back to us.
— We have developed an extensive network of police contacts who work on tackling hate crimes in forces in England and Wales.
— We were instrumental in advising the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), in looking for keywords that may associate evidence and cases with anti-Muslim prejudice. Those key words are now included in the Prosecutor’s Guidance on anti-Muslim hostility.
— We have developed a wide information network which feeds in anti-Muslim material which is circulated by far right networks to us. This allows us to be pro-active and to feed in the material to law enforcement, ensuring the safety of communities.
These are just some of the achievements to date. In all of this, we must not forget the victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, who are predominantly Muslim women who are visible, (who wear the Hijab or the Niqab). To many, we have been a key point of support and as we go into 2016, let us think about our impacts on society. Let us collectively stand up for the weak, those who have no voice and those who deserve peace. If we can stand up for the most marginalised and the voiceless in our communities, then we really are making a real difference.