Muslim servicemen and women will be asked to address school assemblies alongside their Christian colleagues in parts of the country that have seen a significant rise in religious hate crimes. They are likely to include past and present Muslim soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as some who were injured .
The plans, which are at an advanced stage, will be discussed next week at the second meeting of the Government’s taskforce on tackling extremism and radicalisation. Reports of anti-Muslim attacks and abuse increased eight-fold in the wake of the death of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London. A month later they were still running at 36 per week .
Earlier this month David Cameron visited a mosque in Manchester where a young white Muslim convert described how attitudes to her had changed as a soon as she covered her head with a veil .
She told him of the hostility she felt from people in the street and in shops, which she had never encountered when she was uncovered. Another woman said she and her friends sometimes “avoided” going into town for fear of abuse over the way they dressed .
Around 650 Muslim soldiers are currently serving across the armed forces, including many in frontline roles .
Sayeeda Warsi, minister for Faith and Communities, is understood to be assessing two proposals to co-ordinate the visits .
One is being led by the Army under the new Civilian Chaplain to the Military, Imam Ali Omar, and another is being proposed by the independent Curzon Institute. The schemes will be match-funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government .
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