UK anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 600% since NZ attack

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 06:00, Apr 21, 2019 | Updated : 06:00, Apr 21, 2019

Women react near Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 17, 2019. REUTERSAnti-Muslim hate crimes have spiked in the UK since the Christchurch mosque terror attack with the number of incident reported increasing by a staggering 600 percent.
Tell Mama, a charity which records anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK affirms that, 95 incidents were reported in the week after the New Zealand massacre, which left 50 people killed, a 593% rise from the week before
Of the 85 incidents linked directly to the New Zealand shooting, 40 were online abuse and 45 were carried out in person using “languages, symbols or actions” directly referencing the mosque attacks, including even gestures mimicking the tragic attack.
It shows a pattern which are linked to the attacks on mosques in Birmingham and several arrests over online statements, according to the group.
UK daily The Independent notes that “the 593% week-on-week rise is higher than that seen after the 2017 Manchester bombing, which was cited as an inspiration for Finsbury Park attacker Darren Osborne to plough a van into Muslims leaving prayers”.
Speaking to another newspaper, The Metro, Tell Mama called on the government to “take concerted action through education, the criminal justice system, restorative justice and other means” to tackle anti-Muslim prejudice before “a long-term issue develops”.
In 2017, a Tell Mama report revealed a record number of anti-Muslim attacks and warned of a “marked shift” towards more serious offline incidents like physical attacks, vandalism and abuse, as hatred continues to spread on social media.
These incidents also signaling a shift from Islamic to far-right extremism in the UK, official statistics for 2018 show that 43% of suspected terrorists arrested were white, compared to 32% who were Asian.
In the wake of the Christchurch attacks, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that an additional five million pounds would be made available to offer security training to houses of worship. These funds will be available for churches, mosques, temples, and gurdwaras in England and Wales.
The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the extra money but said the funding “was not proportionate to the risk” that Muslims face.
Tell Mama usually receives reports of about 30-35 incidents a week. In the seven days before the Christchurch attacks, 16 incidents were reported – an unusually low number.
The week after the Manchester attack the group recorded the highest week-on-week increase in the number of hate incidents – a 700% rise. But more hate incidents were reported to the group last week.
A rise in the number of hate crimes was also recorded by Tell Mama and police immediately after the June 2016 Brexit vote.
Iman Atta, the director of Tell Mama, told the Guardian that the figures showed a troubling rise. “This shows that some people see Muslims as fair game for hate and it is now clear that we have an ongoing and persistent ideology of hate that is generating a focus on Muslims,” she said. “Muslims in New Zealand were killed and British Muslims feel the anger of bigots. It is perverse.”
Most of the incidents recorded by Tell Mama were carried out in person rather than online. Perpetrators either thought they would not be caught or were so emboldened that they were not concerned about possible consequences, according to the group.