British Parliamentarians and leaders of all faith communities gathered in Westminster for Human Appeal’s Eid ul Adha reception on Tuesday 12th September. The main topic of discussion was the current situation facing the Rohingya in Myanmar and hate crime for religious minorities in the UK.
Human Appeal is the fastest growing Muslim faith-based charity in the UK, specialising in humanitarian aid and international development, while also helping people in the UK, such as rough sleepers. Human Appeal held the event to address hate crime and the ongoing situation facing the Rohingya in Myanmar, one of the countries where Human Appeal works. Human Appeal held the event in association with Reform Judaism, City Sikhs and The Muslim News.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry, Labour’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Sir Keir Starmer and Human Appeal Chief Executive and leading voice of the British Muslim community Othman Moqbel all spoke at the event.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry did not mince her words when assessing the situation in Myanmar.
“I just also want to say that [the situation in Myanmar] facing the Rohingya is a genocide, and this country [the United Kingdom] in particular has a responsibility to the Rohingya. Because if you look at their history, it is tied up with our history as the old British Empire.”
Labour’s Secretary of State for exiting the European Union, Sir Keir Starmer, all spoke strongly on the situation: “I have heard some of the stories they [The Rohingya] carry with them, about what happened in their villages and in their homes, to their communities, to their families and the things that have happened to them on their journey.
And I want to say these are appalling attacks on Rohingya Muslims and they deserve to be widely condemned. All concerned, all concerned, should be held to account to these atrocities. We should stand together, all communities, in response to what’s going on.”
Human Appeal Chief Executive Othman Moqbel also expressed his concerns that if the suffering of the Rohingya people continues, it will aid extremists. He said “I fear, their suffering will not only destroy more lives but also be used to spread further division and hatred.”
Senior Rabbi for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner also spoke powerfully at the event and, like other speakers, celebrated British Muslims and the close links between the Muslim and Jewish communities, and denounced all hate crime.
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner said: “We have to avoid disagreements [between members of the Muslim and Jewish communities] turning to hate, because hate is poison…. For years the government has taken hate crime against Jews seriously. And this year we had an endorsed definition of antisemitism from the government with accompanying guidelines and budget lines. What we need to do is demand a parallel system for our Muslim brothers and sisters.”
Outside of international work, Human Appeal received widespread coverage for their Muslims for Manchester campaign in May, which saw them raise over £28,000 for the victims of the Manchester Arena attack. This year, Human Appeal raised over £170,000 for UK people in need, such as rough sleepers or victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan alone.