The No2H8 Crime Awards is a national award ceremony in the UK, honoring those who have stood up to hate crimes which has sadly risen by 30% in the past two years. And what makes this awards ceremony truly unique are the two founders behind it — a Muslim and a Jew.
Fiyaz Mughal is founder of Tell MAMA (which stands for Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) and Richard Benson was formerly Chief Executive at the Community Security Trust (CST), a British Jewish advocacy group. Together, they have been working for eight years to eradicate Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism. Mr. Benson explains how the two came to work together. “Fiyaz came to us [the CST] and said ‘Muslims are being attacked. There’s no structure in-place in the Muslim community. How can I replicate what the CST is doing around recording hate crimes and supporting victims?’ We at CST immediately said we wanted to help…. We sat down with him and helped him develop, essentially, what Tell MAMA is today.”
Fiyaz Mughal says that Islamophobic hate crimes in the UK had been continually increasing over the past six years and fears the trend will continue. “It is partly driven by terrorism, partly by groups who just want to divide communities, we have social media and we have politicians who seek to blame migrants,” he told The Independent. “Anti-Muslim rhetoric is bleeding into the political landscape – it emboldens people.”
Mr. Benson concurs and says that Anti-Semitism has increased over the past three or four years and that anti-Muslim bigotry is affecting people on the streets. “It is concerning, for both Muslims and Jews.”