Lateral thinking needed to reach minorities with coronavirus messaging, Maajid Nawaz says

2 August 2020, 15:32 | Updated: 2 August 2020, 16:51

By Seán Hickey

As it is reported that minorities aren't receiving government coronavirus messaging, Maajid Nawaz noted that we must think of better ways to reach these people.

After a Bradford native suggested that there was "a death on every street" in a Muslim majority area of the city from coronavirus, Maajid Nawaz saw clearly that there is a disconnect between minorities and the government's coronavirus messaging.

"When it's got that serious, we need to start thinking what better we can do to get the messaging out into those very vulnerable communities."

Maajid noted that these people that are being left behind by government messaging are the ones "helping keep the backbone of our economy ticking along because they're the ones on the front line, disproportionately."

"How do we get this messaging to them," he wondered.

Maajid recalled the way in which campaigning was done during the HIV crisis and how people of all backgrounds were educated promptly on how to protect themselves from the virus.

"We're in a situation now with coronavirus, can we now have a similar form of outreach," he said, suggesting schools, Churches and Mosques get involved in educating the public.

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He went further to state that criminalising people that aren't wearing face masks won't work to fight the pandemic. "It will just be young black, young muslim men," that will be prosecuted in this case, similar to stop and search rules, Maajid argued.

"Disproportionately we will be stopped on the streets, we have the figures, we already know that happens."

Maajid insisted that "it's got to be a public education campaign because this thing will not go away," and he went further to suggest that the problem so far is that an over reliance on mainstream media is where we've fallen down in our method of teaching the public about Covid-19.

"That young lad sitting in a Grenfell-style tower block isn't going to watch BBC news to find out what the newest, latest rules are."

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