Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise in England

Islamophobic crimes increase 300 percent in Britain in wake of attacks in Paris

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The Newcastle demonstration by the UK branch of the German group 'Pegida' in February was the first protest by the group on British soil

Anti-Muslim hate crimes have risen prominently around the world after the Paris attacks which left 130 people dead. Over the last few days there have been 115 such incidents, mainly against mosques, Muslim women wearing the headscarf and Islamic centres.

Activists have warned Muslims to be prepared for a potential backlash.

“The picture is getting increasingly bleak," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington DC-based Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"There's been an accumulation of anti-Islamic rhetoric in our lives and that I think has triggered these overt acts of violence and vandalism," he added.

Helpline Tell Mama, which allows people in England to report any Anti Muslim abuse, reported on incidents of hate crimes.

According to the report, many attacks took place in public areas such as on buses and trains and the perpetrators of attacks were usually white males aged between 15 and 35, with the total number of attacks is probably greater than indicated by the data in the report.

Tell Mama’s report said, “This is concerning since the cases show that women who wear the hijab are the ones being targeted for general abuse and threats. Many of the victims have suggested that no one came to their assistance or even consoled them, meaning that they felt victimised, embarrassed, alone and angry about what had taken place against them.”

According to the report, similar incidents occured after the assassination of British soldier Lee Rigby by Muslim extremists in 2013.

Police figures show that anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic incidents had increased before the Paris attacks by 93.4 percent between by July 2015 compared to a year earllier.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington DC-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, noted that anti-Muslim incidents have increased across the United States, as several Republicans running for president in 2016 have called for the suspension of Obama's refugee policy, citing concerns over rising terror threats.

Following the attacks in Paris, the FBI and police are probing an incident in which several bullets were fired at the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden, Connecticut.

Police are also investigating an incident which took place at the University of Connecticut in which the words “killed Paris” were written under the name of an Egyptian student's dorm door.

Nasir Husain, general secretary of the Omaha Islamic Center in Nebraska, has noted that Muslims in the US are afraid to visit their local mosques after the attacks.

"We have men, women and children who come to the masjid to pray every day, and since these Paris attacks, they have reduced the frequency of their visits to the masjid with fear for their lives," Husain said.

In previous weeks, many Muslims in New York - mostly women wearing the headscarf - have reported that they have been abused verbally and physically.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations reported this week that two Muslim women said that a man who presented himself as a post carrier assulted them by pushing them and and spitting to their faces and telling he was going to burn their "temple." Following this, police detained a man linked to the incident and accused him of provocation and threatening the women.

"We’ve never seen so much backlash against the Muslim community" since the Sept. 11 attacks, said Sadyia Khalique, director of operations for the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “I’m frightened.”



TRTWorld and agencies