iERA lecturer and instructor Saleem Chagtai visited the Victim Support team at the Plymouth Magistrates Court to help them with some matters pertaining to the community. Regrettably, Plymouth has seen a rise in hate crime against the Muslim community in the city and Victim Support wanted some help in understanding Islam and Muslims in order to make their service provision more effective.
Amy Teague, Victim Service Manager, then proactively contacted iERA who have had many years of experience educating Muslims and non-Muslims about the fundamental aspects of the religion of Islam.
Saleem gave a thorough presentation which covered aspects of Muslim culture, dress code, food preparation and basic principles. This was then followed by an open question and answer session where even taboo subjects were encouraged to be explored. Participants felt very much enlightened by Saleem’s presentation which dispelled many misconceptions.
Amy said “thank you for coming down to Plymouth from London to speak with us, it was very much appreciated and we feel we have learned a lot.”
Jackie Thomas, a senior manager at Victim Support, commented, “Our volunteers really appreciated you coming…and felt that they learnt a great deal from you, about the services you (iERA) provide. In particular, one volunteer said ‘ It was a privilege to learn so much about cultural awareness from Saleem’”.
“It’s always wonderful meeting people who volunteer their own time to help others,” remarked Saleem. “I felt the Victim Support Team in Plymouth really want to reach out to Muslims out of genuine care and concern, so I thank them on behalf of the Muslim community.” He added, “Harmony between people can only occur once they understand each other which is why I really enjoy this type of work.”