Jewish groups join Scottish churches for interfaith hate speech call
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Jewish groups join Scottish churches for interfaith hate speech call

'As faith leaders and heads of faith-based organisations we stand in solidarity with all those who have faced abuse and hatred on social media'

Stock image of a person using a laptop. (Credit: Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash)
Stock image of a person using a laptop. (Credit: Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash)

Jewish organisations have added their voice to that of faith leaders north and south of the border calling for action to tackle online hate speech.

The Community Security Trust (CST), charged with protecting the UK’s Jewish community, joined forces with organisations such as the Church of Scotland and several interfaith organisations as they urged Boris Johnson to act.

The open letter comes as grime artist Wiley continued his three-week online antisemitic tirade despite social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram all belatedly suspending or ending his accounts.

“As faith leaders and heads of faith-based organisations we stand in solidarity with all those who have faced abuse and hatred on social media,” they said.

“The events of recent weeks are another painful reminder of the extent of real-world harm that can be caused online. The prevalence of racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic and anti-Hindu hate underlines how the social media companies continue to fall short. We cannot continue to rely on their piecemeal approach to online abuse.”

Other Jewish representatives adding their voice to the call for legislation were Laura Marks of Jewish-Muslim women’s network Nisa Nashim, and her daughter Sally Paterson of the Alliance of Jewish Women.

The signatories said they wanted the British government “to bring forward the Online Harms legislation as a matter of urgency,” adding that it “promised to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online but the flagship Online Harm legislation continues to be delayed”.

Alongside CST chief executive Mark Gardner in signing the letter were Mosques Imams National Advisory Board chair Qari Muhammad Asim and Iman Atta from anti-Islamophobia monitor Tell MAMA and Faith Matters.

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