UK Muslim group demands mosque security

Britain’s biggest Muslim group has urged the government to help fund security at mosques amid a “palpable sense of fear” following recent killing of 50 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it will write to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to demand equivalent funding to the 14 million pounds (19 million dollars) annually for security at some 400 synagogues and 150 Jewish schools.

It said Harun Khan, the Muslim Council’s secretary general, will urge May in a letter to “demonstrate equivalent support to Muslim communities.”

Khan warned of the risk of copy-cat attacks, “especially in a climate where we are now fully appreciating the growth in the far-right.”

“A long-term commitment to ensure Muslim communities are supported similarly to Jewish communities, is absolutely essential in these troubling times as we struggle with how we balance the necessity of security with our desire for continued openness,’’ he said.

After Friday’s attack in Christchurch, the Muslim Council, which represents over 500 British mosques and Muslim institutions, criticised May’s government for failing to adopt a definition of Islamophobia following a recommendation by a cross-party committee of lawmakers in November.

A senior Muslim politician in May’s Conservatives also urged “a moment of self-reflection by politicians on how they impact public discourse around Muslims.”

“The vilification of Muslims has been increasingly mainstreamed,’’ tweeted Sayeeda Warsi, a member of the upper house of parliament.

No less than two anti-Muslim streets attacks were reported in London over the weekend.

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