Baroness Warsi hears communities’ views on integration
14 May 2014 04:49 PM
Baroness Warsi travelled
the country to hear communities’ views on
The Faith and Communities
Minister has toured the country to hear from and respond to the views of local
citizens as part of the government’s commitment to tackling hate crime
and building stronger communities.
‘roadshows’ have taken place in the heart of 6 communities -
Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford, Leicester, Luton and Oxford and were attended
by diverse audiences including community and faith leaders, university
students, academics and members of the local police force.
These events were undertaken to
demonstrate government support to develop strong communities, where people can
feel they belong and where steps are taken to combat religious hatred and those
who seek to cause division.
No topic was off-limits for
participants during the frank and honest question and answer sessions. A range
of issues were put to Baroness Warsi including:
- what is being done to challenge
- the impact of negative attitudes
towards British Muslims
- foreign policy, particularly
- how young people can tackle
- the reporting of religious hate
- the role of young people and
women in society
Faith Minister Baroness Warsi
This was an opportunity for me
to hear direct from some of those affected by hate crime and outline what
government has done to help communities tackle hatred so that everyone is
treated with equality and dignity.
Everyone has the right to feel
safe in the place where they live, free from discrimination and prejudice.
Sadly this is not always the case and the road shows provided an opportunity to
hear first-hand accounts and highlight some of the measures we have taken to
tackle hate crime including the projects government has
It is only by confronting these
issues head on that we can make a real and lasting difference to our
communities so that everyone is treated equally, in the way they
The events were hosted by a
combination of local authorities and Muslim leadership organisation including
the Lancashire Council of Mosques, Federation of Muslim Organisations, the
University of Leicester Hate Crime Project, the Khayaal Theatre Company in
Luton and the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies.
Suleman Nagdi from the
Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicester said:
The meeting with community and
faith leaders was very well received by all attendees and the feedback we have
received from the participants has been very positive.
We are reassured that our
government has taken the issue of hate crime seriously and is working
tirelessly with all communities to eradicate this heinous
Luqman Ali, Chief Executive of
the Khayaal Theatre Company in Luton said:
It is not often that local
communities get the opportunity for extended live dialogue with a member of the
cabinet. As such, we were pleased to welcome and host Baroness Warsi in
We know from the feedback that
we’ve received that our audience very much enjoyed and appreciated the
experience as did all at Khayaal Theatre. Many have commented on how
personable, candid and inspiring they found the Baroness.
The government is supporting and
delivering a range of integration projects to build stronger communities across
- investing £6 million for
new innovative English language
classes to reach some of the most isolated people in
- establishing the Near
Neighbours programme to bring people together in religious and
ethnically diverse communities
- commemorating the First World
War in communities by providing paving stones for
Victoria Cross recipients and funding for their grave stones to be
- investing £10 million
with Youth United to
establish over 600 new scout, guides and cadets groups
information on all of our projects and the funding and investment we
policy aims to break down barriers, emphasising local action and
bringing people together including funding projects to support tackling
intolerance and extremism.
More information on English language learning.
More information on the commemorative First World
War paving stone and grave stone restoration programme - read a press
release on the campaign for restoration of the UK graves of First World
War Victoria Cross heroes.