Mabda Report 17/6/2013

Scots Call for Fighting Islamophobia

The rise in anti-Muslim offences in Scotland is raising concerns among government officials and prompting calls for serious efforts to combat Islamophobia in the country.

"Any form of attack or discrimination based on the assumption of someone's religion, race or cultural background is completely unacceptable," Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham told The Herald Scotland.

"While the decrease in both racist and religiously aggravated offending are to be welcomed, it is concerning to note the rise in charges directed towards the Islamic community and towards those with disabilities."

Interfaith Alliance Welcomes Improvements to Hate Crime Data Collection, Calls for Rapid Implementation

A Federal Bureau of Investigation Advisory Policy Board voted on Wednesday to begin formally reporting and tracking data on anti-Arab, anti-Hindu and anti-Sikh hate crimes, as well as hate crimes committed against other minority religious groups including Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Orthodox Christians and Buddhists. Though religion-based hate crimes are already prosecutable under federal hate crime laws, the FBI had not previously reported data on the religion of hate crime victims as comprehensively as it will now. Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement on this policy shift, which Interfaith Alliance worked with its coalition partner organizations to secure:

"We have made great strides in recent years in our ability to prosecute and prevent hate crimes. Yet, our ability to track these crimes has not kept pace. The Advisory Policy Board’s recommendation that the FBI begin collecting and breaking down additional data on crimes directed against Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism, and individuals adhering to and communities associated with other minority religions, is an important step."

Top Japanese award goes to Sisilah for peace and interreligious dialogue

Sisilah, a movement for Muslim-Christian dialogue founded in 1986 by Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), won the 2013 edition of the Goi Peace Award, it was recently announced by the Goi Peace Foundation. The Japanese agency - founded in 1999 in Tokyo - is committed, as stated in its statutes, to the "promotion of peace, overcoming barriers formed by race, religion or political beliefs." The jury wanted the prestigious award to go to the Philippine movement, because it best mirrored the foundations' own values.