Friday, December 27, 2013

UK anti-Muslim hate crime soars, police figures show

The Guardian (UK)
Press Association
December 27, 2013.

Forces report a surge in the number of reported incidents after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by Islamic extremists in May

A petrol bomb explodes outside the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre in May.
A petrol bomb explodes outside the Grimsby Islamic Cultural Centre in May. 
(Photograph: CPS/PA)
Hate crimes against Muslims have soared in the UK this year, new figures show.

Hundreds of anti-Muslim offences have been carried out across the country in 2013, with Britain's biggest force, the Metropolitan police, recording 500 Islamophobic crimes.

Many forces reported a surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two Islamic extremists in Woolwich, south-east London, in May.

And the figures could be much higher, because nearly half the 43 forces in England and Wales did not reveal how many hate crimes had targeted Muslims. Some forces admitted they did not always record the faith of a religious hate crime victim.

Freedom of Information requests were sent by the Press Association to every police force in England and Wales.

Of the 43 forces, 24 provided figures on the number of anti-Muslim crimes and incidents recorded.

Tell Mama, a group which monitors anti-Muslim incidents, said it had dealt with some 840 cases since April, with the number expected to rise to more than 1,000 by the end of March.

This compared with 582 anti-Muslim cases it dealt with from March 2012 to March 2013.

Fiyaz Mujhal, director of Faith Matters, which runs the Tell Mama project, said the reaction to the murder of Rigby had caused the number of Islamophobic crimes to "significantly jump".

"The far right groups, particularly the EDL [English Defence League] perniciously use the internet and social media to promote vast amounts of online hate," he said.
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Comment: No, really?  


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