Edgbaston Stadium hosted an event to mark the start of national Islamophobia Awareness Month as we underlined our commitment to make Edgbaston for Everyone.
Yesterday’s event (1 Nov) was organised by local Muslim organisations featuring talks from several prominent speakers on the themes of inclusivity and tackling racism.
Speakers included Haroon Mota – founder of the Coventry-based Active Inclusion Network and popular Muslim Hikers group – England Squash’s Asma Ajaz Ali, and Birmingham Green Lane Mosque Chief Executive Kamran Hussain.
Edgbaston Chief Executive Stuart Cain also presented at the event where he talked about some of the Club’s initiatives to attract more children into cricket from south Asian communities.
He said: “We are working with organisations such as Green Lane Mosque – where we run regular cricket coaching sessions for children – and the BAHU Trust to help raise awareness of Islam and promote inclusivity through various initiatives. We can play a small part in helping change attitudes and demonstrate that sport is a safe, welcoming environment for all, whether that be as a player, fan or member of staff.
“These initiatives are starting to cut through. Much of the young talent in our Academy and Emerging Player Programme is Asian, as are the three latest recruits to Warwickshire’s professional ranks. We’ve high hopes many will go on to have fulfilling careers in professional cricket.
“This flows through to the stadium where we work hard to accommodate people from all communities, whether that be through prayer facilities, the choice of food and drink or the stewarding.
“We adopt a zero tolerance approach to any form of abuse or hate crime but it’s a sad fact that some will ignore this, which is when there has to be a consequence for their actions. When things go wrong, we have put in place technology for reporting abuse discretely that leads to potential ejection and police prosecution.
“Hopefully this will drive home the message that abuse is not acceptable and filter through to their day-today attitudes when at work or in the local shops.”
Around 40 guests attended the three-hour event, which paused at 5pm for sunset prayers, with speakers signing our Edgbaston for Everyone wall inside the stadium reception.
Kamran Hussain from Green Lane Mosque, said: “These events are really important to show our unity. Green Lane Mosque has a great relationship with Warwickshire Cricket Club: we’ve celebrated Eid here with 2,000 people coming together to pray. It was a wonderful occasion.
“That was initiated by the Club and we’re involved with lots of other events at the ground.
“There’s negativity around cricket at the moment linked to the high-profile racism cases but, as we’ve found, it’s important not to tar everyone with the same brush.”