A mixed faith group lay a peace wreath outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich
About half of all mosques and Muslim centres in Britain have been subjected to Islamophobic attacks since 9/11, it has been revealed. So why doesn’t the media report on it proportionately?
- Research reveals HALF of all Britain’s mosques have been attacked since 9/11 as anti-Islam violence spreads
- Arson, computer threats and physical attacks went up tenfold after Drummer Lee Rigby’s death last month
- Research published as English Defence League get set for London protest in Woolwich this afternoon
- About 700 mosques have been targeted in Britain since 9/11 attack in 2001
The figures, from the Islamophobia watchdog Tell Mama, found that between 40 and 60 per cent of mosques and other Islamic centres – about 700 – have been targeted in Britain since the 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Center.
It comes as English Defence League supporters prepare to gather in Woolwich at the scene of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder later this afternoon.
Drummer Rigby was hacked to death in front of horrified on-lookers in south-east London last month.
The number of anti-Islamic attacks has gone up significantly since the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in south east London in May
Report author Professor Nigel Copsey, of Teesside University, said: ‘What is significant about our analysis is the extent to which the far right is implicated in anti-Muslim hate crime.’
Research by the Independent newspaper also found almost a tenfold increase in attacks in the days after Drummer Rigby’s death, with mosques being set alight and Muslims targeted at home.
There were nearly nine attacks per day in the immediate aftermath of the killing, settling back to around two per day over in the following weeks.
Professor Copsey said: ‘There has undoubtedly been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents since the Woolwich murder.
‘An obvious concern now is whether the number of hate crime incidents return to “normal” levels or whether Woolwich has been a game-changer in terms of increasing the underlying incidence of anti-Muslim hate over the longer term.’
Forensics officers work outside a mosque after a suspected bomb was found in Walsall earlier this month
Earlier this week, swastikas and the letters ‘EDL’, ‘KKK’ and ‘NF’ were sprayed on the walls of a mosque in Redditch.
There were also reports of pigs’ heads being left at Muslim families’ homes and other attacks against individuals.
In addition, there was an attack on an Islamic centre in north London.
DRUMMER LEE RIGBY, WHO WAS KILLED ON THE STREETS OF SOUTH EAST LONDON IN MAY
Despite the warning signs, a senior Government adviser told the paper there remains a ‘lack of political will’ to take on the issue and identified Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles as one of the ministers slow to react to the problem.
The adviser, who did not want to be named, said attempts to ‘tackle this issue – even before Woolwich – struggled to attract buy-in’.
The Muslim community was warned yesterday of the dangers it faces from hate groups in a sermon delivered at 500 mosques.
The piece said high-profile cases of sexual grooming of children by small groups of Muslim men ‘hitting the headlines in a short space of time and the fallout from the Woolwich case will create a major challenge for the Muslim community’.
English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has been banned from staging a protest march with supporters in Woolwich
But Dr Matthew Goodwin, associate fellow at Chatham House and an expert on extremist groups, said: ‘The broader picture is more positive than we think. Young people are more at ease accepting Muslims in society.’
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: ‘There is no place for anti-Muslim hatred or any kind of hatred in Britain, and we are committed to tackling this unacceptable scourge.’
The revelations came ahead of today’s EDL march, which was set to route past the East London Mosque and assemble outside Woolwich Barracks.
But police have imposed conditions on the protest and the march will now take place between Hyde Park Corner and end opposite the House of Lords, where supporters will be allowed to loiter for a maximum of two hours.
Any supporters seen gathering in Woolwich will be arrested, the Metropolitan Police said.
As well as laying flowers in memory of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich, EDL leader Tommy Robinson and his co-leader Kevin Carroll had planned to walk to raise money for a young girl fighting against neuroblastoma.
Reacting to the Met’s decision, Mr Robinson said: ‘The police are enforcing no-go zones for non-Muslims. It’s a charity walk with two people taking part.
‘When has a Muslim charity walk ever been made to have conditions?’
The unfair treatment of the British Islamic community, the disproportionately high number of attacks mosques and individual Muslims have faced continue to be underreported by the media in the UK and abroad. The question we should be asking ourselves is why? As well, we might wonder, is this biased reporting (and underreporting) responsible for shaping public opinion on Muslims and Islam, leaving us with the impression that Muslims engage in this sort of terrorism, while other groups have relatively clean hands when it comes to terrorism? It would seem that the media is writing history for us, regardless of the facts.
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