Lincolnshire Police produce video challenging portrayals of Muslims in Britain

British Muslims: How are they portrayed? Terrorists? Jihadis? Islamic State?

These difficult questions are tackled in a new video made by Lincolnshire Police which asks you to challenge your perceptions of how Muslims in Britain are viewed.

As part of Hate Crime Awareness week police are asking residents to ask themselves: How do I consider Muslims in this country?

A lot of perception may be to do with media coverage of traumatic incidents, such as terror attacks, for which groups like Islamic State have claimed responsibility, or for which individuals may have said they are acting in the name of Islam.

The 13 minute video, which has been created with school pupils as its target audience, was the brainchild of PC Glenn Palmer, who is based in Mablethorpe.

Hafsah Qureshi, an NHS doctor in Lincoln, appears in the video

He said: “The idea for this video really started about eight years ago when we made a similar one in Boston that talked about misconceptions surrounding the Polish community there.

“After that I wanted to do one that opened up conversations about Muslims and that’s really where this idea came from.

“One of our roles as police officers is engagement and I see that as not only being the way we engage with the communities we serve but the way they engage with each other.

“The more we can do to put straight any misunderstandings in those communities, the better it can be for everyone.”

PC Rizwaan Chothia, PREVENT officer for East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Special Branch, added: “The aim of many Islamist terrorist groups is to create a particular narrative around Islam not being compatible in the west and that Muslims will never be accepted by those living in the west.

“They seek to basically ‘divide and conquer’.

“We have seen a rise in hate crimes against Muslims nationally in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in the UK, this plays directly into the hands of those terrorist groups attempting to divide people and communities.

“The film explains how Muslims are very much a part of British society and have been for a very long time.”