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Anti-Muslim sentiments on rise in UK: British minister

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by illusion8, May 22, 2013.

  1. illusion8

    illusion8 ELITE MEMBER

    Sep 18, 2011
    +2 / 10,800 / -22
    LONDON: Britain's first ever minister for faith Sayeeda Warsi told TOI in an exclusive interview that "UK is witnessing a rising level of anti-Muslim sentiments" with hate crimes increasing by the day.

    According to latest figures available with the department of community and faith, 60% of all religious hate crimes reported to police in Britain are now perpetrated against Muslims.

    Baroness Warsi told TOI that Islamophobia is rising in UK and the reluctance to report such hate crimes by the community is fanning the trend. She told TOI that "Sikhs have been attacked and abused on the roads and public places by people who have mistaken them to be Muslims."

    Baroness Warsi also revealed some worrying stats. Less than 1 in 4 people believe Islam is compatible with the British way of life causing "underlying, unfounded mistrust" against the Muslim community.

    She told TOI "The Muslim and Asian community, facing racial attacks end up feeling it is their fault. I don't want the British Muslim community to get into a sense of victimhood. The community needs to react and raise a voice against such attacks. Between May and July we are having four different conferences in order to address exactly how the community can raise their voice and reduce hate crimes. Mosques can encourage members to report any incidents of hate crime," she said.

    UK's first national anti-Muslim hate crime helpline recently revealed some disturbing findings.

    More Muslim women are at the receiving end of increased hate crimes in UK, most of them physically attacked, harassed or intimidated because of their faith.

    According to the helpline Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) which is supported actively by Baroness Warsi, in its first year itself, the helpline has recorded 632 cases of hate crime against Muslim women.

    The organization says this is just a fraction of the total number of anti-Muslim incidents affecting ordinary Muslims in UK. MAMA has recorded some shocking incidents-a five-year-old girl was hit by a car because she was Muslim.

    A pregnant woman watched her husband being beaten up by her neighbour's boyfriend, in front of the children, while another Muslim family was forced from their home in Nottinghamshire, a cross wrapped in ham on their doorstep the last straw.

    A young woman had faces thrust onto her Hijab as she was walking in a south London street.

    Hate crime on social media has become common in UK-three-quarters (74%) of incidents reported to MAMA took place over Twitter and Facebook. Baroness Warsi and Jemima Khan have also been subject to online threats picked up and reported to the police by MAMA. Extreme violence featured in 23 of the cases.

    The majority of those physically attacked on the street were Muslim women, wearing either the hijab or niqab. Over half (58%) of the cases involved female victims.

    Visibly-identified far-right British National Party (BNP) or English Defence League (EDL) members were linked to over half (54%) of all incidents.

    MAMA said "Our work has led to the arrests of 21 far-right EDL supporters, with over 40 incidents reported against EDL leader Tommy Robinson alone. Eighteen prosecutions have taken place, although we would like the police and CPS to do much more in this area, (only two police forces-the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police-record Islamophobia as part of their crime statistics). MAMA says there is no conflict between being 'British' and being 'Muslim'. As many as 83% of Muslims said they were proud to be British, compared to 79% of Britons overall.

    Anti-Muslim sentiments on rise in UK: British minister - The Times of India