Helpline Records Significant Rise in Islamophobic Crimes in Britain
Britain’s First Helpline For Victims Of Islamophobia Has Recorded A Significant Rise In Harassment, Intimidation And Physical Assaults Against Muslim Women Only Due To Their Faith, Local Media Reported.
The helpline dubbed Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) said that in 58 percent of all Islamophobic incidents happened Muslim women were attacked during the first 12 months of the helpline launched in February 2012, British media reported.
The helpline, which was established to quantify the scale and nature of anti-Muslim violence in Britain, recorded over 630 incidents during that period, according to reports.
“Some of the most egregious attacks recorded include a family being forced from their nottinghamshire home, a five-year-old girl knocked over by a hit-and-run driver and a Somali lady who had dog faeces placed on her head by a white man while shopping in south London”, the helpline records showed.
Muslim women said they were randomly assaulted in the street because of their Islamic clothing or Hijab, with most high-profile female targets including first UK’s women Muslim minister Sayeeda Warsi who was threatened online by an English Defence League (EDL) member.
According to records the majority offenders were subsequently found to have had links to recognised far-right groups such as the British National Party (BNP) or the EDL.
Members of the BNP or EDL were involved in 54 percent of all incidents, of which three-quarters were committed by men. The average ages of perpetrators were between 21 and 30, the reports said.
Meanwhile, the British think-tank Chatham House has recently reported a significant rise in Islamophobic sentiments across the UK.
The think-tank said it discovered a "wide reservoir of public sympathy for claims that Islam and the growth of settled Muslim communities pose a fundamental threat to the native group and nation."
Fayaz Mughal, coordinator of Tell MAMA and director of non-profit group Faith Matters, told media that he was "shocked" by the amount of racial hatred they had detected in their first year of monitoring, particularly online.
"We are calling on police and politicians to do more to tackle this shameful wave of fear and prejudice. From the internet, to the workplace, the street and even houses of worship, too often Muslim women and men are becoming the target of vicious, sometimes violent, abuse”, added Mughal, a former adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clege.