9-11 was a watershed moment. A game-changing tragedy. And birth of the modern day Islamophobia that has spread across North America and Europe.
The latest research by academics at Teeside University shows just how endemic Islamophobia has become in Britain since 9/11. Half of the country’s mosques and Islamic centers have been attacked – that’s 700 in 12 years.
The figures don’t come as a shock to organizations like Islamic Human Rights Commission, who have been warning against the widespread under-reporting of Islamophobia in Britain.
The number of attacks since 9/11 amount to well over one a week over the last 12 years. That itself is a shocking statistic.
But compare it to the aftermath of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in London – and a more sinister trend emerges.
There was a ten-fold increase in Islamophobic attacks in the days after Rigby’s death. From computer threats, to physical attacks and arson. Mosques were set alight, Muslims were targeted on the streets, and pigs’ heads left outside their homes.
Meanwhile, a senior government adviser – who did not want to be named – has told the British press that there is a lack of political will to tackle Islamophobia. At the same time the far-right are provoking hatred. Several attacks have seen the letters EDL – English Defense League, NF – the National Front or KKK – the Klu Kluts Klan – sprayed on the walls of mosques.
Without the political will, and with Islam still demonized by the British press, it is hard to see the tide changing, leaving a worrying trend potentially causing tidal waves through Britain’s once cohesive society.