Anti-Muslim hatred has been spreading across the country since the Woolwich murder with a wave of attacks against Muslims, mosques and perceived Muslim targets. The responsibility lies not only with the individuals that carry out such attacks but with the politicians and journalists that have been sowing the seeds of Islamophobia before and after the Woolwich attack. Attacks such as the one on the Islamic Centre are inevitable in such a climate of hatred, the question needs to be asked of the authorities that why are they not doing more to prevent such incidents?
IHRC wrote to the Metropolitan Police Chief asking for increased awareness and protection for minority communities as well as warning of such attacks but were disappointed with the response we received. This attack reinforces our view that the state is not doing enough to protect minorities in the UK from hatred.
Attacks such as these do not come out of nowhere, but are a result of the anti-Muslim language that we hear in our everyday lives, it is since the Woolwich murders that the racists and Islamophobes feel confident enough to carry out such brazen attacks. IHRC has been monitoring anti-Muslim hatred from before and after Woolwich, and we have seen an alarming increase in anti-Muslim hatred.
In 2011 IHRC published a report that stated 13% of those interviewed said that they had been victims of a physical hate attack. The implications of this figure on a community of 3 million are disturbing. It could mean, potentially, tens of thousands if not more attacks carried out against members of the Muslim community.
Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said, “Muslims feel scared right now and it is completely understandable. Muslims have been physically attacked, mosques burnt down, cemeteries vandalised and social media is full of anti-Muslim hatred and violent threats towards Muslims. More needs to be done to protect the Muslim community.”
Notes to editors
1) For media interviews please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8904 4222
2) IHRC’s letter to the Police Commissioner and the response http://bit.ly/12ZcVly
3) IHRC’s report, Getting the Message: The Recurrence of Hate Crimes in the UK http://bit.ly/ocoC3R