Study Takes Place into Islamophobia Attacks
Criminologist Imran Awan of Birmingham City University addresses the increase of islamophobic attacks in front of parliament.
Mr Awan and Dr Irene Zempi, a criminology lecturer at Nottingham Trent University used the experiences of real life victims of Islamophobic attacks to study the impact of anti-Muslim hate crimes.
The report was commissioned by TELL MAMA (measuring anti-Muslim attacks) a national project that provides support for those who have been victim to islamophobic or anti-Muslim attacks.
Amongst the victims, was a woman who claimed to have been showered with alcohol in an anti Muslim hate crime, whilst innocently waiting for her train.
“People were watching but they ignored it. No-one wanted to help,” she explained.
Another victim stated: “A man shouted to me and my Muslim friends, ‘You are terrorists, I’m gonna come to the back of the bus and stab you’.
“I told the bus driver and asked him to stop and call the police but he refused.
Both physical and online attacks on Muslims were considered in the study conducted at the university and evidence was shown that most Muslims were reluctant to report accounts of islamophobia and received little or no help from passers by.
Mr Awan said: “This research reveals worrying levels of fear and intimidation experienced by many Muslims, compounded by a lack of support from the wider public when facing physical threats in the real world and an absence of tough action from social media platforms at the abuse people are receiving online.
“Participants argued that anti-Muslim hate must be challenged from within Muslim communities – too often reluctant to report abuse or attacks – and that the public should intervene and assist victims of anti-Muslim hate where possible.”
Dr Zempi added: “Our participants made a number of recommendations for tackling anti-Muslim hate crime. We are determined to work with relevant organisations to ensure that their voices are heard and recommendations implemented.”
As part of the study, trending topics were analysed on social media platform Twitter to see the kind of language used to discuss Islam.
Mr Awan said: “As we see anti-Muslim hate crime increase in places, such as London, we have also witnessed a high level of Islamophobic attacks online.
“Muslims with a ‘visible’ identity are more likely to be vulnerable to hostility, intimidation, abuse and threats.
Mr he stated: “In studies conducted online we have also found that Muslim women have suffered more hate attacks then men.
“And whilst many of the incidents may be reported after ‘trigger’ events, this case shows a steady increase in attacks.”