The government and media are to blame
Hate crime towards the Muslim community is becoming a constant feature in Britain. It seems a day does not go by, without hearing about savage acts against innocent people, because they are Muslim or the perpetrators think they ‘look’ Muslim.
Jameel Muhktar and his cousin Resham Khan, were left with life-changing injuries when a man flung acid through their car window as they waited at a set of traffic lights in Newham.
Mr Muhktar who was left in a coma following the horrifying acid attack in east London has said he believes he and his cousin were targeted because they are Muslims.
Mr Muhktar has spoken out for the first time since the ordeal, saying the shocking acid attack was “definitely a hate crime”.
Speaking to Channel 4 news, he said: “It’s definitely a hate crime. I believe it’s something to do with Islamophobia.
“Maybe he’s got it in for Muslims because of the things that have been going on lately. I don’t know if people are trying to retaliate. We’re innocent people. We didn’t deserve that.
Even children have not been immune to the rise of hate aganist Islam and Muslims. According to Childline, children as young as nine have been bullied about their race and faith after recent terror attacks in Manchester and London – with some branded ‘terrorists’ by classmates.
Childline says it dealt with a huge spike in calls from distraught youngsters, including those who had harmed themselves as a result of the bullying.
One 12-year-old boy told a Childline counsellor: “I’m upset because people are making racist comments to me today and talking about the Manchester attack. It’s annoying and unfair because I have nothing to do with the attack. People shouldn’t jump to conclusions and assume that just because someone is a Muslim, they are a terrorist.”
Separate from the bullying reports, in the two weeks following the Manchester Arena bomb in May, the charity held nearly 300 counselling sessions across the UK with children who said they were worried about terrorism.
The number of callers reporting bullying and racial abuse issues rose to 128 in the month following the Westminster Bridge attack on March 22 – up from 71 the previous month.
Muslim children endure name calling and girls who wear a hijab or headscarf reported being frequently victimised, the charity said.
Police in Manchester and London registered surges in anti-Muslim hate crime in the immediate aftermaths of the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack.
The number of Islamophobic attacks in Manchester went up fivefold in the week after the concert bombing, with 139 incidents reported to Tell Mama, the group recording Islamophobic crimes, compared to 25 incidents the previous week.
Police chiefs said there had also been a short-term spike in London before the Finsbury Park mosque attack.
In one case, Naveed Yasin, a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon who helped save the lives of people injured in the Manchester attack, was racially abused and labelled a “terrorist” on his way to work at Salford Royal Hospital. Other incidents around the country included one involving a woman from Southampton whose veil was ripped from her head, and another involving a man struck with a glass bottle.
The Met police say the volume of hate crime they record as Islamophobic attacks has increased sharply in the last four years. The force recorded 343 incidents in the 12 months to March 2013, 1,109 in the 12 months to March 2016 and 1,260 in the 12 months to this March.
The Met pointed out that the Finsbury Park attack was not the first act of terrorism against Muslim communities. In 2013 a Ukrainian neo-Nazi, Pavlo Lapshyn, murdered 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem and tried to bomb several West Midlands mosques in the hope of instigating a “race war”. A year later, a neo-Nazi named Ian Forman was jailed for 10 years after plotting to bomb mosques in Merseyside.
Indeed hate crime commited towards any community is disgusting and deserves absolutely no justification. However the rise of hate crime/speech towards Muslims , verbal aggression towards children based on their Islamic faith or perceived heritage has definate sources. There are people in British society that have been ‘radicalised’ with a narrative that the Muslim community is a cause of the attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge. This narrative has been provided by not only tabloids but also broadsheets that claim to have a finer reputation. News channels frequently have had a distinctly negative angle when reporting about Muslims and Islam. This is now well known by all and is being challenged by all communities – regardless if they are Muslim or not.
Also an identical narrative is provided by the British government that has been extremely proactive in painting a dark picture of the Muslim community. It has claimed that Mosques are havens for violence and ‘extreme ideology’. Muslim schools have been subjected to unfair scrutiny compared to other faith schools. The now ridiculed Prevent agenda has demanded teachers, public sector colleagues and even doctors of patients to report ‘signs of extremism ‘ when extremism has not even been defined. The Counter Terror Act 2016 is draconian legislation against the the Muslims in Britain, which is on par with dictatorial regimes around the world.
Therefore when society contemplates why hate crimes has increased, the primary sources are the Media and the British government. They have been relentless in preaching hate to British society and radicalising bigots. They have brainwashed many people into believing myths and misconceptions, that Muslims possess evil intent and that they need to be stopped.
For Muslims these are challenging times and it is vital that they rise above bigotry and hate. Muslim in this climate must display excellent qualities of speech and debate people with the true interpretation of Islam and not the perverse version delivered by the media and the British government.
أدْعُ إِلَى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُمْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ ضَلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” [An-Nahl: 125]
Also for Non Muslims, this is an opportunity to learn and study Islam. Whilst the government and the media is working to undermine the Islamic faith, there should be a conscious effort to contact Muslims and Islamic institutions and enquire what the teachings of Islam are. Unfortunately the media and the government are in no position to relay Islam to society. They have shown that their intentions are not sincere, as they have been strong in their opposition to traditional Islamic doctrine. Therefore Non Muslims are welcome to debate and discuss Islam with the Muslim community, without having to conform to a narrative that is laced with venom.
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
“And we have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the all the worlds.” [Surah 21:107].