Website tracking Anti-Muslim crime asks you to ‘Tell MAMA’
A website dedicated to helping hi-light crimes against the Muslim community is up and running. Monitoring Social Media and Police reporting, it also includes the reports and undercover work by journalists and campaigners. Below is the ‘about us’ section of the website.
For many years now the Muslim communities in the UK have suffered anti-Muslim incidents and expressed a need for a nationally coordinated means of reporting such incidents. The MAMA Project will provide a means for such incidents to be reported, recorded and analysed, working to ensure this data is accurate and reliable and the victims and witnesses affected receive support. This project also works with police forces across England, Wales and Scotland in order to ensure access to justice for victims through the prosecution of perpetrators.
We are an independent, non-governmental organisation which works on tackling anti-Muslim hatred and therefore our work is not influenced or wholly shaped by Government. However, we work with Central Government to raise the issues of anti-Muslim hatred at a policy level and our work helps to shape and inform policy makers, whilst ensuring that an insight is brought into this area of work through the systematic recording and reporting of anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes.
What is MAMA?
Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (MAMA) is a secure and reliable service that allows people from across England to report any form of Anti-Muslim abuse. We have created a unique portal where you may address your concerns and record any incident that you experience as a result of your Muslim faith or someone perceiving you to be Muslim. By using our ‘Submit a Report‘ section, you can describe the details of the abuse you suffered, whether verbal or physical, and then add in the location of the attack so that we can effectively map incidents across England. We can also refer you for support through partner agencies if you have been a victim of an Anti-Muslim incident.
Reporting an incident to us is incredibly easy. You can do so via the Telephone, Email, SMS, Facebook or Twitter. Once we have your information secured, one of our trained case workers will call you to discuss the issue further and ensure we have all the details we require to record the incident accurately and offer you our support. However, it should be noted that we reserve the right to make an informed judgement on whether cases are anti-Muslim prejudiced in their nature or not and wholly based on the evidence presented to us. It should also be acknowledged that some of the material that we receive which the victim may perceive as being anti-Muslim in nature, may not be reflected in the evidence presented to us and we will write back to the victim explaining the course of action taken and why we believe that it cannot be classified as such.
We also will, from time to time, ensure that we challenge anti-Muslim narratives where we see them and where there are blogs, statements or newspaper articles which promote them. This does not take away from the fact that where members of Muslim communities promote prejudice themselves, we will also challenge those narratives and any behaviours related to them. This is an important part of the work in countering prejudice, intolerance and bigotry.
What is an anti-Muslim Incident?
TELL MAMA classifies an anti-Muslim incident as any malicious act aimed at Muslims, their material property or Islamic organisations and where there is evidence that the act has anti-Muslim motivation or content, or that the victim was targeted because of their Muslim identity. This also includes incidents where the victim was perceived to be a Muslim.
Who is this service aimed at?
This service is for anyone who suffers, or has suffered, an incident as a result of their Muslim faith (or perceived Muslim faith). The MAMA project can also record incidents by Muslims against other Muslims, which may be due to intra-religious issues, and caseworkers will be able to log these incidents specifically so that a variety of issues can be mapped and support provided for different cases of anti-Muslim incidents.
How will it benefit you?
If Anti-Muslim hate incidents are ever to be stopped, it is essential that you report any crime committed against you or that you have witnessed take place on another person. By reporting attacks, you can help us create a rich picture of where more needs to be done to tackle Anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes throughout the UK and this allows us to map the areas of the country in which Anti-Muslim incidents are most frequent. This will enable local police forces and social support services to target their resources most efficiently and effectively to ensure the community benefits from better safety and security. We will work together with communities to try to put an end to faith-based hate crime and provide the space for Muslims to speak freely and openly about anti-Muslim hate crime and gain the support they may need.
What is it that we record?
TELL MAMA is not a project based on protecting any religion from scrutiny and debate. More information on this is provided in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions‘ section in this site where we lay out what the basis of our work is. However, there has been a lot of confusion over the years around the terms Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice. We focus on and use the term anti-Muslim prejudice and we also acknowledge the work of the Runnymede Trust on Islamophobia and which was ground-breaking in 1997. The National Commission on Islamophobia outlined specific contextual meanings to the term and also highlighted, for the first time, tangible social phenomena related to Islamophobia.
We within TELL MAMA want to outline our clear position of what anti-Muslim prejudice is. Essentially, understanding this position starts to flesh out the basis of what we are measuring and assisting victims on. Anti-Muslim prejudice is defined as a dread, fear, dislike and hatred of Muslims, and also can include the practice of discrimination against Muslims by excluding them from the economic, social and public life of the nation. Anti-Muslim prejudice is therefore a driver which can fuel practices of exclusion and discrimination.
Anti-Muslim prejudice whilst being targeted against the followers of Islam, (Muslims), can also sometimes include opinions on Islam such as that it has no common values with other cultures, is inferior to the ‘West,’ and is a violent political ideology rather than a religion. Anti-Muslim prejudice in this context can therefore promote a social stigma towards Muslims and Islam, namely by creating a sense of fear and dread about them.
Anti-Muslim prejudice can therefore be based on indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Muslims and in some instances, to Islam. The Runnymede Trust lists negative attitudes to Islam through the 1997 report entitled,‘Islamophobia, a Challenge For Us All.’ We must add though that the primary focus of our work is on anti-Muslim prejudice and each victim who reports to TELL MAMA, will have their case reviewed on a case by case basis since each incident is unique. In some of these cases, hate and prejudice is targeted at the victim, who happens to be Muslim as well as to Islam. The conflation of the religion with the rights of the individual has therefore developed a complex and quite confusing situation in this area of work especially when there are two competing social terms of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice. As suggested before, for the purposes of our work, we focus on the anti-Muslim prejudice elements.
What are the classifications of incidents?
Incidents are classified as follows:
1. Extreme Violence – i.e, a violent attack on a person / property that has the potential to cause the loss of life or Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH).
2. Assault – i.e, a physical attack against a person which does not pose a threat to their life and is not GBH. This includes objects being thrown at someone, even if the object misses.
3. Damage and Desecration of Property – i.e, this includes anti-Muslim graffiti being daubed on Muslim property and damage to vehicles motivated by anti-Muslim hatred.
4. Threats – Any clear and specific threat, whether physical, verbal or written. If the threat is not clear and specific then the incident should be recorded as Abusive Behaviour.
5. Abusive Behaviour – Verbal or written anti-Muslim abuse.
6. Anti-Muslim Literature – Mass produced and mass mailed literature with anti-Muslim content.
You can classify your report under one or more of the above headings and there is also an opportunity for you to explain in detail to MAMA what happened. For example, you may have suffered threats and abusive behaviour and then you may have been subject to an assault. If you perceive that this has been because of your Muslim faith (perceived or real), you would mark the threats, abusive behaviour and assault boxes on the ‘Report an Attack’ page. Multiple issues can therefore be reported. If you struggle to classify the incident yourself, our caseworkers will be happy to assist you with this.