On the night time of April 29, 2013, Mohammed Saleem, a retired grandfather, was strolling dwelling from prayers at his native mosque in Small Heath, a Birmingham suburb.
At 82, he was utilizing a strolling stick.
Abruptly, Pavlo Lapshyn, a 25-year-old Ukrainian PhD pupil, stabbed the aged man 3 times within the again with a searching knife, killing him.
The wound that was highest up on handed right through his physique.
In June and July, Lapshyn, a white supremacist who wished, in his phrases, to “improve racial battle”, planted bombs outdoors three mosques within the West Midlands area, focusing on the busiest durations – Friday congregations.
He was later arrested and pleaded responsible to all the costs in opposition to him below the Explosive Substances Act of 1883 and the Terrorism Act of 2006. He’s now serving a minimum of 40 years in a UK jail.
Saleem’s ugly homicide, which Lapshyn carried out simply 5 days after arriving within the UK on a piece visa, devastated Britain’s Muslim neighborhood.
Greater than 5,000 folks attended his funeral.
However in accordance with Saleem’s daughter, Maz Saleem, extra must be completed to recognise Islamophobia as a harmful phenomenon.
She is now calling on the UK authorities to formally recognise Islamophobia as a criminal offense.
“We have to deliver Islamophobia again to the desk,” she instructed Al Jazeera. “Islamophobia has been rising longer than the [so-called] warfare on terror. Muslims get attacked for the way in which they appear and gown.”
By way of her social media marketing campaign, she is urging folks to put up testimonies with their very own experiences of Islamophobic crimes and abuse.
“Mohammed Saleem might have been any of us. That’s why we invite folks to share their experiences below the hashtag #IAmMohammedSaleem.”
She additionally needs the UK to undertake an official authorized definition of Islamophobia, a transfer she hopes will cease it, “as soon as and for all.”
“We want society to recognise the load of systematic racism that many people expertise each day.
“Islamophobic assaults don’t occur in a vacuum. People are emboldened to behave on their hate by government-approved anti-Muslim insurance policies. If we need to put a cease to this, we have to put a reputation on it.
“How can we sort out the rise of Islamophobia with no definition of what it’s?”
Please watch share and retweet marketing campaign movies and posts. Jzk khair 🙏🏾💕
How one can assist:
— IAMMOHAMMEDSALEEM (@IAMMOHDSALEEMUK) April 2, 2021
The marketing campaign will run by way of April till the eighth anniversary of her father’s demise.
Saleem was a father of seven and a grandfather to 23.
He got here to the UK in 1957 from Pakistan to assist rebuild the nation after WW2.
“He would take triple shifts on the bakery to feed us all. He was a sort, lovely and hard-working man who empowered his daughters to be politically conscious and grateful for having a house within the UK.”
Maz Saleem is the youngest of his youngsters and had a powerful bond with him.
“I keep in mind once I acquired the telephone name of his demise. The shock of that also lives in me. It doesn’t go away,” she mentioned.
Lapshyn was sentenced by Excessive Courtroom decide Mr Justice Sweeney.
“You clearly maintain excessive right-wing white supremacist views, and also you have been motivated to commit the offences by non secular and racial hatred within the hope that you’d ignite racial battle and trigger Muslims to go away the realm the place you have been dwelling,” Sweeney mentioned within the sentencing remarks.
Inaccurate depictions of the assault have worsened the Saleem household’s struggling, mentioned Maz.
“He (Lapshyn) will not be labelled as terrorist in mainstream media. They name him mosque bomber, killer or a far-right attacker. By no means a terrorist”.
In accordance with authorities experiences and the hate crime monitor Inform MAMA UK, anti-Muslim hatred has risen in recent times.
Yasmine Adam, spokeswoman for the Muslim Council of Britain, mentioned Islamophobia has been outlined by a cross-party parliamentary group and has been endorsed throughout civil society and by most political events – besides the ruling Conservatives – as “rooted in racism and kind of racism that targets Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.
“It’s a evident omission from our governing celebration, who needs to be main the battle in opposition to all types of bigotry,” mentioned Adam.