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August 01, 2001

Islamophobic reaction to Bradford disturbances, says Muslim News

The overwhelming reaction to the recent disturbances in Bradford, Burnley, Oldham and other northern towns has been “blatantly racist and Islamphobic,” The Muslim News says in its latest edition. The monthly also highlights the growing plight of Muslim women losing their jobs for wearing the hijab.
Analysing the aftermath of the disturbances, the paper’s editorial accuses Government ministers, local MPs and the mainstream press of all being responsible for inflaming the situation. “Instead of trying to understand the underlying problems, these knee-jerk reactions further alienates the already marginalized youth,” it warned.
The Muslim News said the media had “gone into a frenzy” and used the disturbances to “vent their racist and Islamophobic diatribes.” It also questioned whether the police, already identified as ‘institutionally racist,’ were really committed in responding to the concerns of the Muslim community. Citing the highly publicised beating up of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee member Shahid Malik by the police, it asked what chance was there for ordinary Muslims.
Criticism was also laid at the door of Lord Ouseley’s timely report ‘Community Pride, Not Prejudice’ for its misleading description of state schools, with a majority of Muslim pupils, as ‘Muslim schools’. The blame of underachievement in state schools was due to a lack of resources, discrimination, bullying and the lack of role models, should be placed “at the door of the Local Education Authority and the Government,” the editorial argued.
No less than six articles are devoted to the causes and reactions to the disturbances as well as an analysis of the Ouseley report. “What has been largely lacking in any objective analysis is an acknowledgement that the disturbances are due to unemployment discrimination (both racism and Islamophobic), policing and neglect by the government and local authorities,” The Muslim News said.
Millions of pounds pumped into inner cities, but where has the money gone, the paper asked. It also questions what happened to the promise by the Home Office to look at the needs of youth. “The reaction of surprise and search for solutions indicate nothing has happened to tackle the underlying problems,” the editorial said in its conclusion.

In two front-page articles, The Muslim News reported on the increasing number of women facing discrimination at work for wearing headscarfs. It looked at the case of solicitor Sofia Moussaoui, who has filed claims of unfair dismissal, a solicitor from the reputable Westminster-based law firm, Radcliffes. The second report covered the sacking of Hamra Alam from Sterling Estate Agents in west London. Both cases are to be heard by employment tribunals.

For further information contact us on 020 7608 2822 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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