Hate crimes against Muslims in London ‘up by 70%’

Statistics show that Muslim women are victims to nearly 60% of hate crimes in London


Web Desk September 07, 2015
About 60 per cent of hate crimes in London are targetted against Muslim women PHOTO: AFP

Islamophobic hate crimes against Muslims in London have increased by 70 per cent, according to Metropolitan police.

The police statistics show a total of 816 hate crimes against Muslims in the 12 months to July 2015, up from 478 over the same period in 2013-14. The overall racist and religious hate crimes in London increased by 27 per cent with 13,007 incidents recorded.

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According to Metropolitan police, an Islamophobic crime is any offence intended to affect those known or perceived to be Muslim. Reported incidents of hate crimes include cyber-bullying and assaults to extreme violence.

The Merton area in south west London saw the highest increase in Islamophobic attacks with a rise from eight incidents in the year to July 2014 up to 29 in the subsequent 12-month period, an increase of 263%. According to Scotland Yard, the London borough of Westminster had the highest number of incidents in the year 2014-15, with a total of 54 hate crimes.

Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors Islamophobic attacks, claimed that Muslim women are victims to nearly 60% of hate crimes in London. Further, those wearing a face veil were victims of more ‘aggressive incidents’. However, female victims often avoided contacting the police because they feared it could make matters worse.

Fiyaz Mughal, director of the organisation, said, "We realised that at a street level Muslim women who were visible, and wore the Hijab or the headscarf, were suffering more targeted abuse. We also realised quite early on that women who wear Niqab, the face veil, suffered more aggressive incidents - there was something about the face veil that in a way brought out the worst in the perpetrator."

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Commander Mak Chishty, the police force’s lead for hate crimes, said there were a number of reasons why Muslim women were targetted more than men. "Their physical attire obviously says they are Muslim, they are normally by themselves and with children and the cowardice shown by perpetrators is that it is easier to attack women with children than it is a man," he said.

London's Metropolitan Police said "world events" may have contributed to the increase in hate crimes, while there was also a rise in incidents on holy days when Muslim communities were more "visible".

A willingness by victims to report such crimes and improved ability of police to identify them were also factors, Scotland Yard said.

"In light of recent world events, we know communities in London are feeling anxious," a spokesperson for the force said.

"Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams are providing a more targeted presence in key areas at key times, such as school routes, holy days and prayer times to give extra reassurance."

Joni Clark, a Muslim convert and mother of two moved her family from Penge in south east London to Whitechapel in east London because she received ‘abuse every single day’. "The attacks affect my children deeply and I fear for their safety so I feel I have no choice but to move."

Moreover, anti-Semitic crime has also surged 93 percent over the same period, with 499 incidents recorded compared with 258 the previous year.

This article originally appeared on BBC

COMMENTS (3)

Azad | 6 years ago | Reply Its a sorry state, but the Muslims themselves are to blame. Some Muslims have integrated pretty well (Doctors, Investment Bankers, Professors in colleges), it is the ones who have not changed their mindset and pushing the same problems down to the next generation. Some reasons for hate: - lack of respect to the current system (democratic, plural) - no community check on people who are spreading hate towards non-Muslims - lack allegiance to the flag - lack of integration (residence and schooling) and preference to living in ghettos - in most cases, lack of proper skills to be gainfully employed, leading to disenfranchisement - unnecessary indulgences and support in violent acts (rather than contributing peacefully) in conflicts going on in far distant lands (ISIS, Palestine, Kashmir.. and so on). Speaking on the basis of religion - Buddhist, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews etc have no issues with integration, only Muslims. So lot of introspection is needed, only secular Muslims can take lead in fixing their problems and change perception. Brits wont do beyond providing basic common framework which as been successful for others. Dear Moderator - I will appreciate if you can print this. Thanks in advance.
Pakistani | 6 years ago | Reply Muslims all over the world faces so many difficulties & problems due to extremism. but other nations can see this within Muslim countries Only.
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