- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

British Muslims Increasingly Living in 'Environment of Hate' - Report

© Flickr / Roberto TrombettaA Muslim woman at London underground
A Muslim woman at London underground - Sputnik International
Muslims living in the UK are increasingly being subjected to an "environment of hate" with a rise in verbal and physical attacks, along with the actions of some leading politicians adding to Islamic discrimination, a new report has found.

Research carried out by Muslim advocacy group, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) found an increase in the amount of daily abuse experienced by Muslims in the UK since 2010.

After questioning 1,800 people, the IHRC report found that between 2010 and 2014, the number of those who reported seeing anti-Islamic attacks or sentiment being directed at someone else rose from 50 to 80 percent.

Ninety-three percent of respondents also said they had witnessed first-hand negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims in general.

Government, Media to Blame for Anti-Islamic Sentiment

While many people said they experienced or witnessed anti-Islamic sentiment being carried out by members of the general public, the IHRC's research found that many believed some of Britain's politicians and media were to blame for condoning or adding to the discriminatory behavior. 

British muslims pray during Friday prayer at the East London mosque. (File) - Sputnik International
Britons Should Know That Muslims Condemn Terrorism - UK Muslim Council

More than half of those surveyed, who identified themselves as "practicing Muslims", believed that governmental policies had negatively affected Muslims, while others said that certain political figures condoned discrimination.

The report's authors highlighted the UK government's anti-terror strategy, known as PREVENT, as one such policy contributing to negative Islamic stereotypes.

"Through devoted analysis to the PREVENT strategy and the Channel program, the authors detail the way surveillance focused specifically on Muslims, means they are assumed guilty of terrorism by association," a summary of the IHRC's findings said.

The group also said that the portrayal of Muslims in the media "embedded stereotypes and coded discriminatory language.

"The Muslim minority becomes victim to the social attitudes of the majority — learned through government policy and the media they consume — and this is then expressed in acts of hatred, hostility and violence."

'Uncomfortable Reading'

In the wake of the findings, Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and lecturer at Cambridge University, said more needs to be done to tackle racial and religious discrimination across the board.

"This will make very uncomfortable reading; not all will agree with every aspect of the analysis, but it is painfully clear that physical and verbal violence against Muslims has risen spectacularly in recent years. As the authors make plain, a failure to challenge the attitudes that produce this is to open the door also to the most overt forms of racism and anti-Semitism. What is described here is a serious reproach to our society's most humane ideals and values."

Dr Sarah Keenan, lecturer in Law at the University of London, said the report uncovered how societal institutions have played a part in the negative stigmatization of Britain's Islamic community.

"This report offers a structural analysis of contemporary British Islamophobia, demonstrating how policies and media representations have generated an environment in which Muslims are seen as worthy of hatred."

The report coincided with the release of data from the organization, Tell Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks (Tell MAMA), which records incidents of anti-Islamic violence.

According to the group, there had been a number of reports of anti-Muslim violence in the past few days following the Paris terror attacks, despite community pledges calling on people to unite against negative stereotyping of the British Muslims.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала