UK’s first-ever survey details attacks on mosques, Islamic bodies | Islamophobia

London, the UK – About 42 % of mosques or Islamic establishments in a  newly launched UK report have skilled religiously motivated assaults within the final three years.

The survey, the primary of its sort, was collectively carried out by two British Muslim organisations – Muslim Engagement and Improvement (MEND) and Muslim Census.

It mentioned that the commonest type of assault skilled by mosques and different Islamic establishments was vandalism, adopted by housebreaking or theft (34 %), with 83 % being attacked at the very least yearly.

It additionally instructed that almost 17 % of mosques have confronted bodily abuse directed at workers or worshippers, with one mosque reporting {that a} non secular cleric was stabbed outdoors the entrance entrance.

Mosques officers described receiving threats of bodily violence on standard social media platforms and basic abuse. Within the report, they’ve expressed their frustrations and the way elevated Islamophobia hate crimes are taking toll on their wellbeing.

“We have now witnessed people breaking home windows, vandalising worshipers’ autos, and spraying racist graffiti on the mosque constructing,” an unidentified mosque official was quoted by the report as saying.

Practically two-thirds of the 113 mosques who participated within the survey reported that the assaults harmed the broader group, with 9 % reporting that their mosques or Islamic establishments have been focused incessantly, at the very least each three months.

Muslim men are social distanced as they gather to pray at Minhaj-ul-Quran Mosque, at the start of Eid al-Adha, in London
Muslim males are socially distanced as they collect to wish at Minhaj-ul-Quran Mosque in London [File: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP]

The report indicated that 15 % of mosques noticed a rise in assaults in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toufik Kacimi, the imam of Sainsbury Park mosque in north London, advised Al Jazeera that religiously motivated assaults have elevated through the years, with the most recent incident taking place weeks in the past when a member of the general public hurled canine faeces into the mosque.

“Simply final Ramadan, one man punctured six automobiles belonging to worshipers; we additionally obtained threats telephone calls and hatred letters,” he mentioned.

Kacimi additionally mentioned that a number of the attackers faux to be Muslim to achieve entry to the mosque and steal cash and cell phones from the donation field and folks’s jackets.

“We will say that hate crimes towards Muslims have sharply elevated within the final three years, and it’s costing us more cash; we’ve employed 4 safety guards and deployed extra CCTV cameras within the mosque premise and it’s an enormous monetary burden to us,” he mentioned.

Police response

The survey additionally investigated the UK police response to such assaults. It mentioned 85 % of the mosques which were attacked or threatened reported these incidents to the police.

About 55 % of the mosques have been dissatisfied with the police response, and 38 % mentioned that no police motion was taken once they reported the incident, in keeping with the report.

As well as, 28 % of the respondents mentioned that the police supplied further surveillance to the mosques as a result of their experiences; nonetheless, 15 % of these deemed it pointless to contact the police and report the assault, supposing the police wouldn’t take any motion.

Nevertheless, the UK nationwide police chiefs’ council lead for hate crime, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, refuted the allegations, saying that they take all hate crime experiences significantly since they’ve a devastating influence on particular person victims and the communities concerned.

“We work onerous to construct confidence by partaking with affected communities at a neighborhood and nationwide degree. We’re in common contact with our companions on the charity who assist Muslim communities, and I might encourage anybody who suffers hate crime to report it to the police,” he advised Al Jazeera.

“Everybody has a proper to stay their lives and observe their faith, with out the concern of focused abuse for who they’re, both bodily or verbally; and we are going to at all times search to guard that proper.”

Suggestions to the police

Azhar Qayum, the director of MEND advised Al Jazeera that although they’ve documented their issues, they’ve additionally made suggestions to the police to deal with Islamophobic hate crimes within the UK.

“We haven’t had a response from the federal government but; however we’ve made some suggestions, together with the police to enhance hyperlinks with their native Muslim group and mosques and implement swift motion when such assaults happen, and a full clarification when no motion is taken and we are going to monitor to see if they’ve been carried out,” he mentioned.

Some mosques talked about within the report additionally acknowledged that they saved quiet about these assaults for a wide range of causes.

About 64 % of mosques reported that they feared these assaults would have a unfavourable influence on Muslim communities, with responses starting from worshippers being discouraged from attending mosques, to inflicting rifts locally to Muslims dropping religion within the police.

The UK Residence Workplace statistics file 6,377 non secular hate crimes between March 2020 and 2121 with nearly half of them aimed on the Muslim group in Britain, which is estimated to be about 2.8 million or 4.4 % of the British inhabitants.

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