UK Rights Group Calls for Fight Against Islamophobia as Anti-Muslim Crimes Surge

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SHAFAQNA – A British rights group has commented on a media report, citing police data, saying that the number of hate crimes against Muslim places of worship in the UK has doubled between 2016 and 2017.

UK anti-racism advocacy group Hope not Hate emphasizes the need for active measures to combat Islamophobia in the country amid reports of the rising number of hate crimes against UK Muslims, the group’s spokesman told Sputnik on Monday.

“Our own findings painted a worrying set of views which will require significant effort to address, both at a community and wider level. There are organized efforts by those within the far-right to capitalize on and exploit these (anti-Muslim) feelings, but clearly far more needs to be done to combat the scourge of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred,” Nick Ryan said.

Muslim men praying at a mosque

The Press Association reported earlier in the day, citing police figures obtained by the Freedom of Information requests to UK law enforcement, that the number of hate crimes against mosques and other Muslim places of worship across the United Kingdom more than doubled between 2016 and 2017. In August, Hope not Hate published its “Fear And Hope 2017” report revealing the surge in violence against the Muslimsover recent months.

According to media reports, citing the police data, UK police registered 47 hate crimes targeting mosques between March and July 2016, while this number rose to 110 during the same period of 2017.

“It’s disappointing to see these figures. Unfortunately our own research commissioned this year in our Fear and Hope 2017 poll reveals that attitudes have hardened towards Muslims in recent months. Over half of those polled said that Islam poses a threat to the west, with just four in ten saying they were more suspicious of Muslims as a result of the recent terrorist attacks. A quarter of English people also believed that Islam was a dangerous religion that incites violence, with older people more prone to Islamophobia,” Ryan added.

Earlier in the day, UK Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said that the crimes against the Muslim worship sites should be condemned.

The number of hate crimes against UK Muslims and their places of worship has increased against the backdrop of repeated terror attacks in the United Kingdom. Police figures revealed by the media showed Greater Manchester and London, themselves the sites of recent terrorist attacks, as specific focal points of hate crimes against the Muslim places of worship. The responsibility for the attack in these cities has been claimed by Daesh terrorist group.

One of the attacks in London was directed against the Muslims. On June 19, a man drove a van into a group of pedestrians who had attended Ramadan prayers at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque.

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