Islamic Human Rights Commission
19 June 2017
Press release – UK: Police have to start taking seriously the threat faced by Muslim communities
The terrorist attack overnight in the Finsbury park area of London highlights major deficiencies in the provision of security to Muslims and also a culture of hate that currently pervades Britain and legitimises hate crimes against Muslims.
Since the recent atrocities in London and Manchester authorities have done little to address the increased vulnerability of the Muslim community despite repeated calls by the IHRC.
Neither the government nor the Mayor of London has heeded our recommendations based on our own historical recording of the rise of anti-Muslim hate speech and hate crimes.
Our most recent survey looking at the incidence of anti-Muslim hate crime and its causes found that between 2010 – 2014 verbal abuse of Muslims went up from 32% to 56% while almost one in every five had experienced physical violence.
It should be remembered that Muslims are the biggest victims of terrorism, being at the same time targets of extremist groups like Daesh and their supporters but also victims of those who exploit these terrorist acts to ply their vile Islamophobia across popular and social media.
In reality, Islamophobia has become a high-paying vocation with ever more column inches and airtime being given to people like Melanie Phillips, Katie Hopkins, Douglas Murray, Maajid Nawaaz and Piers Morgan who have instrumentalised the threat from Muslim extremism to incite hatred day in day out against Islam and Muslims.
This hate speech, which fans the Islamophobia of the far right, part of a disturbing trend that has seen a recent rise in hostility and discrimination against Muslims.
According to our survey 2010 and 2014 the number of people who reported seeing Islamophobia spiked from 50% to 82%. In the same period the number of people stating they had witnessed negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims jumped from 69% to 93.3% suggesting that the feeling of being victims of an environment of hate has become almost universal for Muslims.
These statistics make clear that the government should be focussing the same energy and resources on weeding out and eradicating Islamophobic hate preachers as it is doing in the fight against Muslim extremism.
IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “It should not take a tragedy like this for the police to start taking seriously the threat faced by the Muslim community. The authorities should make every effort to have a visible and very public policy that protects Muslims from hate crime, one that is both effective and which also sends the signal to wider society that Muslims are just as if not more vulnerable to terrorism as other communities.”
“We must also see wider action from our politicians to reverse the march of a political culture in which the promotion of Islamophobia has become a race to the bottom that is both instigated and exacerbated by the popular press.” he added.
Notes to editors:
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598