CAIRO – A new research has warned that around half of mosques and Islamic centers in Britain have been subjected to Islamophobic attacks since 9/11, as political analysts blamed the government for a lack of political will to tackle the aggravated phenomenon.
“There has undoubtedly been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents since the Woolwich murder,” Professor Nigel Copsey, of Teesside University, and the author of the research told The Independent on Saturday, June 29.
“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.”
The research, carried by The Independent, showed that between 40 and 60 per cent of mosques and other Islamic centers (around 700) had been targeted since 9/11.
The number of anti-Islamic attacks has increased as much as tenfold in the days that followed the Woolwich murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.
Not only in mosques.
The research warned that Islamophobic attacks spreading across Britain have also targeted Muslims at home in the past month.
Copsey’s data is largely based in figures from the Islamophobia watchdog Tell Mama which showed an increase of attacks to nearly nine per day in the immediate aftermath of the Woolwich killing
According to Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks in Britain, 212 “anti-Muslim incidents” have been reported after the Woolwich attack.
The figure included 11 attacks on mosques, in a series manifestation of anti-Muslim sentiments.
These attacks carried the flavor of the far-right after swastikas and the letters “EDL [English Defence League]”, “KKK [The Ku Klux Klan]” and “NF [The National Front]” were sprayed on mosque walls.
“What is significant about our analysis is the extent to which the far right is implicated in anti-Muslim hate crime,” Copsey said.
Lack Of Will
Commenting on the report, a government adviser criticized the government’s ‘lack of political will’ to tackle mushrooming Islamophobia.
There remains a “lack of political will” to take on the rise of Islamophobic attacks in Britain,” a senior government adviser, who did not want to be named, told The Independent.
He added that attempts to “tackle this issue – even before Woolwich – struggled to attract buy-in,” with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, identified as the primary source of frustration.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government defended the department; saying Islamophobes had no place in Britain.
“There is no place for anti-Muslim hatred or any kind of hatred in Britain, and we are committed to tackling this unacceptable scourge,” he said.
Hostility against British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.7 million, has been on the rise since the soldier’s killing, which Muslims condemned as running against the basic Islamic teachings.
Last Sunday, a mosque in the West Midlands region of Walsall was evacuated after the discovery of a bomb in the worship place.
Three Muslim worshippers were also stabbed after the night prayers in Birmingham three weeks ago.
A fire also gutted the Darul Uloom Islamic school in Foxbury Avenue in south-east London last week, a blaze described by the police as “suspicious”.
It came after a suspected arson attack on an Islamic centre in north London.
Amid increasing anti-Muslim attacks, Dr Matthew Goodwin, associate fellow at Chatham House and an expert on extremist groups, said there was light at the end of the hate tunnel.
“The broader picture is more positive than we think,” Goodwin said.
“Young people are more at ease accepting Muslims in society.”
Related Links:Britain to Guard Mosques After Reprisals
UK Muslims Fearful After Mosque Arson
Mosque Fire Shocks British Muslims
Muslim Outreach Shows Love to Britons
Muslim Flowers for Peace in Britain