CAIRO - Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has vowed to put an end to religious hate crimes against Muslims during a visit to Manchester's Muslim community, boosting the religion minority as incredibly important for the country.
The Muslim community is incredibly important for the country, Clegg told Manchester Evening News (M.E.N.) on Thursday, November 8.
This is a national issue but I was very keen to do this in Manchester where its particularly relevant.
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The Liberal Democrat leader was visiting the British Muslim Heritage Centre, in Whalley Range, for a town hall-style summit with local community members and national Islamic organizations.
He was being joined by faith and communities minister Baroness Warsi and Lib Dem communities minister Don Foster.
The group also visited the Altrincham Muslim Cultural Centre, which has been the target of religiously-motivated vandalism.
Prejudice, religious hatred, racially motivated violence -- there is no place for hate crimes in 21st-century Britain, Clegg said during the event in Manchester, northern England.
I cannot be clearer -- the government will do everything in its power to stamp out vile attacks motivated purely by hatred of one religion or another.
Hostility against British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.5 million, have been on the rise since 2005's 7/7 attacks.
A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.
A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.
During Clegg's visit to Manchester's Muslim community, he pledged more funds by the British government to fight anti-Muslim tolerance.
There's absolutely no place for hate crime in modern society, Clegg said.
Its an abhorrent thing.
Clegg also announced an extra £214,000 funding for an initiative called Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) run by interfaith group Faith Matters.
The national organization will help to inform a cross-government working group set up to tackle the problem and follows work in the Jewish community, by the Community Security Trust, to record anti-Semitic attacks and shape action to prevent them.
Along with monitoring anti-Muslim incidents, which is also done by Islamophobia Watch, Engage and the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Faith Matters would also offer a personal service to victims.
In addition to the government's efforts, Clegg added that interfaith work between the local Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities was particularly important in standing up against intolerance.
I will do everything in my power to make sure we take the necessary steps.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net