Anti-Muslim Hate-crimes Up 593% in Britain After Christchurch Mosques Shooting


Police outside the East London mosque. Patrols were stepped up on the streets of Britain on Friday during weekly prayers. — Getty Images

Web Report

LONDON — The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported across Britain increased after a white supremacist killed 50 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques, according to a monitoring group.

The hate-crime watch group Tell Mama has reported that there has been a 593% increase in Islamophobic attacks across Britain in the week following the terrorist attack in New Zealand by a white supremacist.

Almost all of the hate crimes reported were linked to the terrorist attack in New Zealand, according to Tell Mama, writes

95 incidents were reported between March 15th and the 21st, with 89% of those incidents containing direct references to the shooting in Christchurch.

Some of those hate crimes included people shouting at Muslims “you need to be shot”, “you deserve it”, and “Muslims must die”. There were also numerous accounts of people pretending to shoot down Muslims with gun gestures or making gunfire noises in jest.

In the last seven days, Muslims in Oxford, Southampton and Colindale, north London, have reported gun gestures or firearms noises being directed at them.

In Colindale on Thursday, a mother walking with her daughter reported four youths making gun gestures. In Oxford earlier this week, a woman wearing a hijab said a man made noises mimicking a gun.

The director of Tell Mama, Iman Atta, stated:

“This shows that some people see Muslims as fair game for hate and it is now clear that we have an ongoing and persistent ideology of hate that is generating a focus on Muslims. Muslims in New Zealand were killed and British Muslims feel the anger of bigots. It is perverse.”

In addition to reports filed to groups such as Tell Mama, incidents such as the stabbing of a teenager in Surrey by a white supremacist and the attack of five mosques across Birmingham with a sledgehammer in the aftermath of the New Zealand terror attack has left many in Britain in fear and shock.

The real figures of hate crime in the UK is undoubtedly higher as well, as many who experience Islamophobic or racist attacks do not come forward with those allegations for numerous different reasons. Tell Mama alone states that they receive around 35 reports of Islamophobic hate crimes a week.

Mark Hamilton, the assistant Chief Constable and national hate crime lead for the National Police Chiefs Council stated:

“Experience tells us that we should sadly expect that a horrific attack such as the one in Christchurch will have an impact on levels of hostility in the UK but it will also increase the fear of crime in affected communities. No one should ever have to suffer hate crime and I would encourage all victims to report to the police.”

According to reports, extra police patrols were deployed on Britain’s streets on Friday, especially around lunchtime which is the time of the main weekly prayers for Muslims.

A rise in the number of hate crimes was also recorded by Tell Mama and police immediately after the June 2016 Brexit vote.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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