Open doors are ‘key to tackling racism’

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RELIGIONS should do more to teach one another about their way of life, according to Labour Party member Rumal Khan.

Speaking at a Stand Up To Racism meeting in Fratton Community Centre, the Portsmouth North election candidate explained that showing one another the differences in culture and lifestyle was the key to tackling racism in the city.

Mr Khan believes that post-Brexit, the country has seen how big an issue racism continues to be in UK society.

He said: ‘In 2016 I faced up to racism during my election campaign, and have both seen and heard about other instances in the city ever since.

‘A racist delivery driver refused to go to a predominantly black area because he said he was frightened of them.

‘There is racist graffiti on walls throughout the city, one of which actually says that white people aren’t allowed in the area after 8pm.

‘But the biggest form of racism is institutionalised, and it is very difficult to do anything about that.’

Mr Khan claims that the secret to stamping out racism in Portsmouth is to understand different cultures – adding that racism works in both directions.

He said: ‘Racism works in both ways – none of us have a definitive answer to it, but following recent incidents at mosques such as the one at Finsbury Park in June, I think educating one another is the best way forward.

‘That mosque opened its doors to everyone after the incident, which I think is really good because it made people feel more open about going inside and learning about Islam.

‘But minorities should also go to other places of worship – there’s nothing wrong with a Muslim or a Buddhist going to a church to find out more about Christianity, for instance – because it is the only way we can learn.

‘I don’t think there is one single answer to racism, but hearing about other people and their way of life is something we should do more of, regardless of who we are or where we come from.’