Tackling Islamophobia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:23 pm on 7 December 2023.

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Photo of Felicity Buchan Felicity Buchan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 3:23, 7 December 2023

I will go on to talk about definitions, but I will continue briefly on Tell MAMA, if I may.

This year Tell MAMA marked its 10-year anniversary. Over the past decade, I am glad to say, it has directly assisted more than 20,000 people with casework, advice, emotional and counselling support and signposting. I am also proud that the Government have given Tell MAMA more than £6 million of funding since its inception in 2012. In light of the current increase in reports to Tell MAMA, we have uplifted its funding to more than £1 million this financial year to support it with the rise in casework.

In addition to supporting Tell MAMA and bringing together Muslim voices, we have extended the deadline for applications to the protective security for mosques scheme. Mosques and Muslim community centres will now have until 31 December to apply for funding for the scheme. The extension has been granted in light of the current tensions we see playing out on UK streets and comes with an additional £5 million of funding this year, bringing the total Government funding for the scheme to just under £30 million. That announcement was made at the autumn statement. That is vital funding that mosques and, for the first time, Muslim faith schools can use to procure physical security measures to combat the discrimination and intolerance faced by Muslim communities. I am pleased to say that that funding will continue into 2025. Plans are in place to introduce guarding services for both mosques and Muslim faith schools later this year.