A few months ago, a Somali woman in her mid-twenties was walking in south London when she had dog faeces placed on her head by a young white male. She only noticed it after she entered a local shop.
Anti-Muslim prejudice has been something that Muslim communities have talked about even before 9/11 and 7/7. Yet tangible data and support for victims has been lacking.
When some Muslims talked about Islamophobia or anti-Muslim prejudice, the response was that they ‘had a chip on their shoulder’ or worse still, ‘were trying to gain sympathy to Islamicise Europe’.
Since February 2012, the TELL MAMA project has supported victims of anti-Muslim prejudice in England and mapped, measured and analysed hotspots where such incidents have been taking place.
Our key findings so far are that the main victims are Muslim women and of those, the most likely to be subjected to anti-Muslim incidents and attacks are those wearing the hijab – the religiously based head covering (even more so if they also wear the niqab, the full face veil).
The main perpetrators of the attacks have been white males between the ages of 20-50 – who it seems had no problem in verbally abusing Muslim women going about their daily business and even on two occasions urinating on a Muslim female in broad daylight on the street or rubbing faeces into her hijab.
One in three of the reported cases involved a perpetrator with a link to the far-right English Defence League (EDL) or the British National Party (BNP).
The day before yesterday, it was Jews; yesterday, the Black community; today it is the Muslims – and who knows what tomorrow will bring.
In late May, Tony Vickers Liked the page of the Blackburn English Defence League, (in relation to news reports that Sayeeda Warsi did not report the extra income in the Lord’s Register of Interests), and wrote: “She is just another parasite that is sucking OUR Country dry, i would have no problem putting a piece of lead through her crossed eyed head.”
The incident has now been reported to police for further action. Warsi has also been informed.
One caller told the helpline: “I was on the bus on my way to college when I noticed a man swearing. He became louder and I heard him saying things like ‘take your ******* mask off’, ‘all of you muslim ***** are prostitutes, all of your women’, ‘we’re superior to you, we have black people in America’ and other foul things. I got off the bus a stop earlier as he became more crude and I got on the bus in front.”
Written by Fiyaz Mughal OBE director of Faith Matters, which runs the TELL MAMA anti-Muslim violence helpline.
This piece was first published at Liberal Conspiracy