Hate crime is simply hateful
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.