New pledge by organisations across the city aims to tackle prejudice.
Leeds City Council and partners across the city are joining together to protect people in Leeds from experiencing Islamophobia. Councillor Debra Coupar has signed a pledge of intention on behalf of the Leeds Hate Crime Strategic Board to increase understanding of the negative attitudes many Muslims face.
Launching during Islamophobia Awareness Month, the pledge is being taken up by other major organisations in the city, including: the Police, the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire; Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust; Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership; The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Leeds City Council is aware that Muslims continue to experience religiously motivated hostility, and that the situation has intensified with the onset of Covid-19. The Shantona Women’s and Family Centre’s Untold Stories film project, launched earlier this year, also highlighted Muslim women’s experiences of Islamophobia in Leeds.
Nahid Rasool, Shantona Women’s and Family Centre Chief Executive said:
“We are urging individuals to sign up to our ‘I say NO to Islamophobia’ pledge, as we believe that when individuals decide to make a change this can have enormous ripple effects across all the communities and structures they are a part of. To improve the situation, organisations involved in the pledge will work together to encourage people to report anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes and raise awareness within their workforces.”
Alongside the pledge, Shantona Women’s Centre and Safer Leeds are running an Islamophobia online awareness session on 27 November (booking available via Eventbrite). Leeds City Council is also running special sessions to help staff better understand the misconceptions about Muslims and Islam
Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities said:
“We’re delighted to be taking part in this valuable city-wide collaborative effort to end Islamophobia and combat faith-related hate crime. Through closer partnership working with organisations across the city, Leeds City Council aims to promote greater understanding and improve lives across all our communities.”
Leeds citizens are encouraged to get involved by making a personal pledge at www.shantona.co.uk