In a Britain beset with Islamophobia, Muslims in the city of Blackburn have launched an initiative to gather donations to help the city’s food bank feed those in desperate need.
The food-gathering planned for Friday December 14 will be centered on Islamic schools and mosques in Blackburn and is part of a long-standing and regular fund-raising scheme to feed hungry people.
The organizers have asked residents to donate “non-perishable” food stuffs at designated schools and mosques on Friday in a bid to help struggling families across the borough.
Blackburn councilor Salim Sidat says one in five people are living below the poverty line in the city, where the British government’s 2001 census showed 105,085 people live.
“This is an issue that affects many people across Blackburn and this is the time to show good relations between both white and Asian communities,” Sidat said.
“Muslims are being born and bred here and we shouldn’t have any divisions, we should look at everyone’s needs and address them accordingly,” he added.
This comes as Britain’s 2.5 million Muslims face widespread discrimination and Islamophobic sentiments including by officials, especially after the 7/7 attacks in 2005.
A poll by the Financial Times
showed back in August 2007 that Britons are the most suspicious about Muslims in Europe and the United States
Also back in October 2012, the Stop the War Coalition launched a series of protest actions to raise “awareness” about the “prevalent” Islamophobia in Britain and across Europe.
“Islamophobia or anti-Muslim hatred is reaching worrying heights in Britain and across Europe. This ugly phenomena gained currency in part due to the popular thesis … about an impending clash of civilization between Islam and the West,” the group said.
“Islamophobia prejudice is prevalent in the mainstream; on display in political life, in the media and in the attitudes of the police and the courts,” it added.