Hate Crime against Muslims show upward trends in 2013

LONDON: Homophobia has shown upward trends in Britain as hundreds of anti-Muslim offences were carried out across the country in 2013 under ‘Hate Crimes’ against Muslims as Tell Mama, a group monitoring anti-Muslim incidents revealed that it has dealt 840 cases since April, with the number expected to rise to more than 1,000 by the end of March.
Tell Mama also revealed that the cases may surge to more than 1,000 by the end of March as compared compared with 582 anti-Muslim cases it dealt during the corresponding period in 2012-13.
While on the other hand Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest force, recorded more than 500 Islamophobic crimes in the UK, while the figures could be much higher as more than 43 crime watchdogs in England and Wales did not reveal how many Muslims were targeted in Hate Crimes during the year. Most of the crime watchdogs have admitted that they did not always record the faith of a religious hate-crime victim.
The surge in the Hate Crimes against Muslims was being attributed to the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two ‘Islamic extremists’ in Woolwich, south-east London, in May this year.
It was learnt the Press Association has sent Freedom of Information requests to every police force in Britain while out of  43 forces, 24 provided figures on the number of Hate Crimes against Muslim and incidents recorded by them during the year 2013.
Tell Mama Director Faith Matters Fiyaz Mughal said the reaction to the murder of Rigby had caused the number of Islamophobic crimes to jump significantly. “The far right groups, particularly the English Defense League (EDL) is using the internet and social media to promote hate against Muslims,” he said.
It is need of hour to give tougher punishment to people involved in Hate Crimes against Muslims to tackle Islamophobic crime as the guideline laid by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to monitor social media were not fit for purpose, Mughal said, adding the CPS raised the bar of prosecution significantly and unless there is a direct threat to somebody on Twitter or Facebook, the CPS will not prosecute.
The CPS is just plainly out of sync with reality and Tell Mama has called for police forces to improve monitoring of Islamophobic crimes, Mughal said.
There are three problems the Tell Mama faced, Mujhal said, adding that first, there is a lack of understanding of the language of Islamophobia thrown at victims in any incidents. Second, there is very little training on how to ask relevant questions to pull out anti-Muslim cases. Third, recording processes are not in line with each other.
One force will allow an officer to flag an incident as anti-Muslim crime, another force will flag it as religious hate crime a Spokesman of CPS said, adding there is no uniformity. “There must be guidelines for all forces so we can know the level of the problem.” the spokeswoman said.
Online communication can be offensive, shocking or in bad taste. However, as set out in CPS guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media, content has to be more than simply offensive to be contrary to the criminal law.