By: Alan Travis
Source: The Guardian
Muslims in Britain are becoming the target of hate crimes in retribution for terrorist attacks around the world, according to a new report based on the latest figures for anti-Muslim attacks.
The study by Teesside University found that children as young as 10 have been involved in hate-crime attacks and incidents, although most perpetrators were identified as being over 40.
The latest data for anti-Muslim incidents in Britain from the Tell Mama project reveals that there were noticeable spikes in the immediate aftermath of the high-profile terrorist attacks in Paris, Sydney, and Copenhagen in the past year.
The Tell Mama (Measuring anti-Muslim attacks) figures, which have previously been cited by the home secretary, Theresa May, show that there were 548 incidents reported from March 2014 to February 2015. These ranged from online abuse and threats, to street-based assaults and extreme violence.
The 548 incidents reported in 2014-15 compares with 734 cases reported to Tell Mama during 2013-14. The study’s authors, Prof Matthew Feldman and Dr Mark Littler, say that the reduction is most likely to be accounted for by the enormous spike in attacks on Muslims in the weeks following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby on 22 May 2013: “The overall number of reports is consistent with the picture presented in 2012-13, when 584 cases were reported.”
The study, by Teesside University’s centre for fascist, anti-fascist and post-fascist studies, says that fewer than half of the 548 recorded incidents were reported to the police by victims. Most of the incidents – 402 – took place online but most of the physical attacks were against women, and in a significant number of cases, the victim was wearing distinctively Muslim clothing. They included 21 cases of assault, 29 threats and 15 cases of damage to property.
The online attacks included anti-Muslim abuse and the dissemination of anti-Muslim literature.