18 August 2015

Shia hatred is a real and dangerous issue in the UK

In an article entitled, ‘Sectarian Hatred at the Heart of British Muslim community,’ The Times recently highlighted issues of sectarianism that have been bubbling in the UK for some time. These issues have been crystallised after the Syrian conflict which brought matters to a head.

The Times article highlighted a graffiti incident against a Bradford-based Shia institution that had the words ‘Shia Kaffirs’ sprayed across its entrance. TELL MAMA, the national anti-Muslim hate incident reporting project that I manage and founded, picked up this case within hours when a leading member of the British Muslim Shia community reported it into us.

The incident highlighted what many of us knew, that the Syrian conflict, combined with preachers in Muslim communities promoting anti-Shia rhetoric and a mixture of hatred towards Assad and his Shia backers (Hizbollah and Iran), were threatening to upset the fragile cohesion between both faith communities in the UK. [Left Foot Forward] Read more