Stop Islamophobia Week is back for 2013

"The soldier told the mother to make the child stop crying. But when the baby continued to cry, he took it from the mother and slit its throat. Then he laughed", recounted Munira, who lost 22 members of her family.

These events happened in the heart of Europe, just 18 years ago.

This child and more than 8000 other victims were murdered simply because they were Muslims. Yet, as hatred against Muslims rises once again across Europe, the anniversary of this massacre each July is practically forgotten.

This is why MPACUK launches Stop Islamophobia Week on 8th – 14th July every year, to remember our brothers and sisters who died in the Srebrenica Massacre and to take action to stop the growing Islamophobia we are all facing today.

Just recently, after the Woolwich attacks this year, Islamophobia against Muslims has dramatically increased with more than 160 cases being reported to an Islamophobia monitoring hotline. They include nine attacks on mosques, assaults, racial abuse and anti-Muslim graffiti. An improvised petrol bomb was thrown at a mosque in Milton Keynes during Friday prayers, while attacks have also been reported in Gillingham, Braintree, Bolton and Cambridge.

Insha-Allah we will be raising awareness of the threat of Islamophobia and what we all need to do to prevent such hate ever reaching the point where Muslims face ethnic cleansing and genocide, as they did just a few years ago in Bosnia.

We are calling on all our Muslim brothers and sisters and every person who cares about humanity and justice to be part of Stop Islamophobia Week. Islamophobia is a threat to us all, the evidence is all too real:

• An Islamic boarding school was set on fire while innocent children and staff were inside.
• An Islamic community centre and mosque was burnt to the ground. This is not the first arson attack on a mosque.
• Muslim sisters have had their scarves pulled off in the street and been spat at and verbally abused.
• A Muslim student, Yasir Abdelmouttalib, was left with severe brain injuries after being attacked on his way to the mosque by an anti-Muslim gang, who beat him into a coma.
• Imams have been attacked by Islamophobic thugs, entering the mosque and gauging their eyes.

Every single day Muslims face abuse, discrimination and Islamophobia in the media that further fans the flames of hatred. Now is the time to learn the lessons from Srebrenica. Thousands were murdered and tens of thousands forced from their homes for the simple reason that they were Muslims, while the world stood by and watched. Now is the time to say, “Never again” …and to put those words into action.