On January 20, 2021, Belfast Multi-cultural Association (BMCA), working in partnership with the North West Migrant Forum (NWMF), United Against Racism, Belfast Islamic Center, and other BAME-led groups, are holding a public meeting to address the recent attack on its building.
The purpose of the meeting, which will take place online from 6 pm- 8 pm, is to invite the general public, politicians, community leaders, and PSNI, to stand in solidarity with BMCA and to condemn the rising forms of racism and vicious attacks against the Black and Minority Ethnic Community in Northern Ireland
Sadly these kinds of attacks are not new and the events that transpired on Thursday come off the back of continuous aggression and intimidation that the BAME community has experienced for many years.
Muhammad Atif, a spokesperson for BMCA, said: “Whilst we are comforted by the outpouring positive support from the public, as a community of people who value peace, community relations, equality of opportunities, freedom of worship, and respect for difference, we feel the need to once again send a strong message that an attack on BMCA is an attack on all of us. An attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths and an attack for people of minority ethnic communities in Northern Ireland is an attack on all of us.
Our hope is that every decent citizen in NI particularly leaders in positions of influence will join us and use this platform to take a stand against this small but dangerous minority of people looking to spread hate.
Due to the current COVID 19 restrictions and the outpouring support the BMCA has received in the last few days, the meeting will take place online to facilitate attendance from a wide range of well-wishers and supporters across NI and beyond.
As well as attending the online meeting, we are also asking people and communities across NI to sign an official statement of support from BMCA that has been endorsed by over 150 local and international community-led organisations, politicians, and community leaders across the UK and Ireland.
The online meeting will take place on zoom, and it will also be live-streamed on BMCA, NWMF, UAR, and BIC Twitter and Facebook accounts.”
Belfast Multi-Cultural Association is a grassroots organisation founded in 2015 supported by local businesses and restaurants. BMCA has been set up to work with all sections of the community.
Since the start of the pandemic, BMCA has had to re-adapt its work to ensure the safety of the people they work with. The group’s work has supported vulnerable members of the community such as asylum seekers, refugees, people shielding/self-isolating, NHS staff, and keyworkers among others.