CHILDREN as young as nine have been branded terrorists following recent attacks, according to research by Childline.
The charity has been holding hundreds of counselling sessions about racial or faith based bullying with children with the number of sessions doubling following the Westminster attack, according to research by the NSPCC.
In the two weeks following the Manchester Arena attack in May, Childline held nearly 300 counselling sessions with children concerned about terrorism.
Counsellors said young people of all faiths worried that constant abuse and negative stereotyping was so cruel they had self-harmed, and many said they wished they could change who they are.
Muslim children said that they endured constant name-calling, were accused of being associated with so-called Islamic State, and threatened with violence.
NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless said: “No child should be targeted because of their race or faith and we cannot allow prejudice to make children feel ashamed of who they are. Instead, we should celebrate diversity and stand together.”
Meanwhile faith communities in Blackburn have been praying for the victims during Ramadan.
Imran Ahmed, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Blackburn, said: “In Britain, we live in a remarkable country, amongst incredibly diverse and compassionate people. It is clear that we are passing through volatile times and therefore we need to stay united as a country and not let extremists destroy the very fabric of society.”
Any child worried about bullying can call Childline on 0800 11 11. Any adult who is concerned about a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.