Manchester vigil against anti-Muslim attacks

28th Jul 2017
Manchester vigil against anti-Muslim attacks

(Photo: Stand Up To Racism Manchester)

Farhaan Roble

The anti-racism activist group Stand Up To Racism held a day long vigil on July 16 in Manchester to remember the many victims of anti-Muslim and racist hate crimes. Greater  Manchester Police revealed the 505% rise in anti-Muslim incidents since the terrorist attack in the city.

The event took place at Southern Cemetery, Barlow Road. Ever since the terrorist attack in Manchester which left 22 dead, there has been a sharp increase in the number of assaults against Muslims and refugees.

Official figures show there were 224 reports of Islamophobic hate crimes in the month after the Manchester concert terror attack compared with 37 in the same period in 2016.

The child of a Syrian migrant was brutally beaten by six white youths who had surrounded him. The father later said he believed the gang’s intention was to “kill his son”.

These kinds of acts have put the Muslim community on edge. Similarly, family man Sheraz Khan was left with gaping wounds after he was assaulted by a group of Islamophobes who had originally planned to hit him over the head with a bottle in Crumpsall.

In response, Councillor Mandie Shilton Godwin said: “We cannot and we will not accept people being attacked in Manchester, for the colour of their skin, and we utterly condemn such acts of racist violence”. She added, “While as a city we are still grieving, it is more important than ever that we come together as a whole and do not allow racist attacks to divide our communities.”

The group Stand up to Racism hopes to change the media perception and scapegoating of Muslims and migrants for the worsening “economic crisis and wars they did not create”.

Manchester student Resham Khan and her cousin Jameel Muhktar had acid thrown in their faces whilst they were in London celebrating Resham’s 21st birthday. In response, Nahella Ashraf from Stand Up To Racism opened a “special book” for the public to write messages of support.

 

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