Funding disparity between Muslim and Jewish places of worship condemned

Birmingham Mosque attack

Counter-terrorism officers have launched an investigation following the vandalism of five mosques in Birmingham.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Muslim charity has called for government to provide funding for mosque security after five of mosques were vandalised in Birmingham.

Azhar Qayum from Muslim charity MEND told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright that many mosques could not pay for security measures to keep worshippers safe.

“A lot of mosques are quite small, with small congregations, and may not have the sort of resources to fund the security they need,” he said.

“Unfortunately, unless government steps in the smaller mosques won't be able to put on that security.”

According to the Home Office, Muslims are the religious group most at risk from religiously-motivated hate crime.

Following the Christchurch terror attack, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that security funding covering all places of worship would increase to £1.6 million

However, this contrasts with funding of £14 million pledged last month for the specific protection of Jewish institutions.

Metropolitan Police officers patrol a Jewish area of London in 2015. 

Mr Qayum said: “There is a big disparity in government funding for security.

“The reason why we see such heightened security outside synagogues and Jewish schools is because the government annually gives about £14m funding for their security.”

Home Office statistics reveal that 52 per cent of religiously-motivated hate crimes recorded by police between 2017 and 2018 were targeted at Muslims and 12 per cent at Jews.

The Muslim Council of Britain has said a long-term commitment to provide similar support to Muslim communities was “absolutely essential in these troubling times”.