Hate crime is sim­ply hate­ful

Nottingham Post - - OPINION -

NOTTINGHAM is un­doubt­edly a great place to live with vi­brant, di­verse com­mu­ni­ties as Coun­cil­lor Toby Neal proudly pro­claims in an ar­ti­cle in to­day’s Post.

The piece is un­for­tu­nately not about our suc­cess in some tourism awards or sur­vey of great places to live in the UK run by a Sun­day sup­ple­ment but is in re­sponse to a video made for Na­tional Hate Crime Aware­ness Week which starts to­day.

We re­port the ex­pe­ri­ence of a Mus­lim woman liv­ing in the city which she re­counts in the video made as part of a cam­paign urg­ing by­standers to in­ter­vene if they see some­one be­ing abused. The po­lice un­der­stand­ably cau­tion against get­ting di­rectly in­volved be­cause it could be dan­ger­ous. Not­with­stand­ing this ad­vice, some­thing def­i­nitely needs to be done even if it is just be­ing will­ing to stand up as a wit­ness.

In the video, Zaynab As­ghar re­mem­bers be­ing told to “go home” and that she wasn’t wel­come in this coun­try as she waited out­side a chemist’s in Snein­ton, near her home.

She be­lieves this abuse was sim­ply be­cause of the way she was dressed.

To make mat­ters worse, if that is pos­si­ble, a new sur­vey of young peo­ple re­veals that more than one in 10 felt that they too had been vic­tims of hate crime.

Alarm­ingly, some did not think that what had hap­pened to them was hate crime, when it clearly was, but “was just part of every­day life”.

Com­ment­ing on the re­port pro­duced by the sur­vey, com­mu­nity leader Sa­jid Mo­hammed says girls as young as 12 have been in­volved. He says quite rightly that we should lis­ten to the ex­pe­ri­ence of our young.

Rec­om­men­da­tions in­cluded in the re­port call for the au­thor­i­ties to take more no­tice of hate crime and to do more both to raise aware­ness and to com­bat it.

One in­ter­est­ing sug­ges­tion is to cre­ate an app to make it eas­ier for ev­ery­one, not just young­sters, to re­port hate crime. This is a bril­liant idea but should be ex­panded to al­low us to re­port all crime.

No mat­ter how we re­port it, and we should, the sim­ple fact is that hate crime is hate­ful and has no part what­so­ever in our mod­ern, demo­cratic, di­verse so­ci­ety.

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