Assault on Muslim Female Shows the Impact of anti-Muslim Hate Crimes

We were contacted by a member of the public who signposted us to a Facebook post that a Muslim female had put up. The text of the Facebook post was shocking and we have listed snapshots below. Time and time again, deniers of anti-Muslim hate or those who undermine work on measuring monitoring and mapping anti-Muslim hate, simply brush away the feelings of the victim. If on-line, they suggest that the person ‘will get over it’; if at a street level, they question the impact on the victim. Yet, the statements below show the real impacts on a victim of anti-Muslim hate.

This young female suffered an assault on a bus travelling through the Hull Interchange. Her comments on the impact and the post on Facebook speak for themselves. When questioned on the impacts she stated:

“Well it made me feel intimidated, upset, infuriated that someone had the audacity to do such a thing. It made me feel deeply disappointed that no one helped.

And above all, I no longer feel like its safe for me to travel via bus.”

 Bus AttackBus Attack Islamophobia

Community Alert: Please Remain Vigilant in Mosques At Friday Prayers Today

This is a community alert based on threats that have been made on-line and which have been reported to us by the wonderful British public. A huge thank you for the community information which helps us to counter bigotry and prejudice and which also aids us in ensuring that we can get a feel of what is happening in relation to anti-Muslim hatred on-line or physically within communities.

To give you an example of the kinds of threats we are seeing to mosques, we wanted to highlight some of the social media activities reported in. Whilst the example below is just one set (and with a small number of followers attached to the account), it is the kind of information that allows us to make some key assessments and ensure that communities remain vigilant. We are proud of this country’s police forces and the work that they do and we believe that the UK is one of the safest country’s in the world. What we therefore request, is that people maintain vigilance at Friday prayers in mosques given the fact that the recent Rotherham scandal has led to a specific focus by some on Muslim communities and where hate, intimidation and threats are being made to innocent members of Muslim communities. Please stay safe and if you are targeted for anti-Muslim hatred, please do make contact with us, or report in through 101. (If you report through 101, please do make contact with us and inform us of the case – this will be greatly appreciated.)

Rotherham Mosque postcodesRotherham threats to Muslims

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Rotherham threats 5Incitement Against Muslims, Rotherham

Posting Anti-Muslim or Antisemitic Cartoons or Graphics Are Unacceptable. So Why Do It Dilly Hussain?

It has been brought to our attention, that the Deputy Editor of the 5Pillarz web-site, Dilly Hussain (@DillyHussain88), tweeted out a graphic that showed a snake with the Star of David on it, and with what seems to be a Palestinian individual providing some nutrition in the form of a drink. The text in the tweet states that the Caliphate, (the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate), protected Jews at a time of persecution. The second cartoon then shows, ‘the snake,’ (still with the Star of David), devouring the Palestinian young man who had fed it.

The tweet clearly was antisemitic in nature and plays upon antisemitic tropes of Jews being devious, untrustworthy, malevolent etc. This is particularly galling given that we come across the same tropes that are thrown against Muslims. We also note that the political and social commentator Mehdi Hassan also made clear his disgust at the promotion of the tweet which we applaud.

An analysis of anti-Muslim rhetoric shows that references to vermin are regular occurrences in anti-Muslim hate statements made to victims. The promotion of Muslims being stealthy Jihadists and wanting to take over the UK are also usual tropes thrown up by Muslim haters. So, we ask, why does the Deputy Editor of a web-site which is targeted towards Muslim communities recycle exactly the same tropes against Jews and Jewish communities?

Lastly, recently Dilly Hussain also abused Ahmadi Muslims, regarding them less than animals in their closeness to God. Muslim communities deserve better than this and at the very least, a public apology on both counts is needed.

Katie Hopkins Suggests Muslims Are Potential Paedophiles & Spouts Spurious Claims About Halal Meat

We really have tried on many occasions not to give Katie Hopkins the oxygen of publicity, though her latest set of tweets have really crossed a threshold. Not content with a prior number of spurious claims made about Islam and Muslims, Katie Hopkins has returned to Twitter to give life to the darkest recesses of her mind. So what did she post today?

The tweet below refers to the awful grooming cases in Rotherham which have been in the news over the last 24 hours. She suggests, by virtue of the Rotherham grooming cases, that the Asian Pakistani Kashmiri males, should be looked at through the lens of their faith. In doing so, co-religionists of these Asian Pakistani Kashmiri males (read Muslim), follow an ‘imaginary’ prophet who according to Hopkins, ‘is a pedophile.’ The neuronal train of thought, it transpires with Hopkins, is one that starts and ends with Muslims being potential pedophiles. It does not seem to matter whether you are male or female, young or old, gay or straight, brown or black, you are a potential pedophile if you are a Muslim. Welcome to what we can only call is a condition by the term of Hopkinitis. Also, known as foot in mouth disorder.

Katie Hopkins Muslims

 

 

 

 

 

Or take the tweet below, where Hopkins rails against Halal meat preparation. Her statements suggest that politicians are in some way pandering to Muslims in the preparation of Halal meat. So we thought we would research the issue more, whether animals can be stunned or not and whether they would be considered Halal. We thought that we would provide Hopkins with some basic information.

According to the Halal Food Authority, some methods of stunning are acceptable in the preparation of Halal meat and so stunning with sheep and lamb is acceptable, and no, the animal does not have to be back on its feet. That I am afraid, may be a case of Hopkinitis at work. Or take the fact that this report, by the Halal Food Authority, cites that around 80% of the Halal meat that is produced in the UK is stunned. Shock horror that animals are allowed to be stunned, though the Halal Food Authority raises objections to the captive bolt method of stunning in cattle.

So, do we expect some of these tweets to be rectified and retractions made by Hopkins.? Was that a pig flying that we saw? Yes, Katie, no harm in humour and some rest might cure the ‘blame the Muslims’ ailment that seems to have come over you.

Katie Hopkins Islam and Muslims

 

Leo McKinstry of the Express & the Recycling of Myths and Stereotypes About Muslims, by Steve Rose

Leo McKinstry’s recent column analyses the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley.

He argues that mass immigration and ‘multiculturalism’ helped create this British brand of extremist violence. But upon close inspection, many points do not stand-up to scrutiny.

“There are thought to be more British Muslims in the Islamic State terror network than in our Armed Forces.”

At present, 560 Muslims serve in the British army, which contradicts the above claim if we follow government data.  Ministry of Defence (MoD) estimates also list the number of people in Syria at around the 500 figure and from this MoD data, there are a further 28,430 people who signed up to our armed forces who did not declare their religion, some of whom could be Muslims. So, the accuracy of the statement that there are more British Muslims in the Islamic State than our armed forces cannot be made, since there are no hard and set figures.

Why are so few Muslims in the armed forces? It may not be a viable career path for some as others might reject aspects of British foreign policy. Yet, what is also interesting is that Leo’s column fails to mention the launch of the Armed Forces Muslim Forum, which was launched as recently as the 24th of July 2014 and which was highlighted in the press.

More generally, the armed forces have a problem recruiting in other areas. For example, representation from ethnic minority groups stands at just 7.1 per cent. It is also problematic to frame loyalty and patriotism solely in militaristic terms.

“Open borders have led to a phenomenal expansion in Britain’s Muslim population to almost three million, many of the new arrivals hailing from parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where Islamic sectarianism is rife.” 

Immigration does help explain a rising Muslim population but it is not the only factor. Census data reveals that just under half of Muslims (47 per cent) were born in the UK – an increase of over half a million from 718,000 to 1.2 million in 2011.

Leo McKinstry then argues that multiculturalism created “division” and “divide” and fractured our sense of national identity:

“It is little wonder that, according to one recent survey, 26 per cent of Muslims here said they feel no loyalty to Britain.”

But what of the other 74 per cent? With no link to the survey, it is impossible to study its methodology. Other research (with the usual caveats) found that a vast majority of Muslims are loyal to Britain.

British Muslims overwhelmingly celebrate their national identity and sense of belonging.

“In predominantly Muslim areas diversity means the triumph of the burka, sharia law, fundamentalism in state schools and a reluctance to speak English.”

There is scant evidence of the burqa triumphing anywhere in Britain. A generous estimate would suggest that a “very low” number of women wear it (as with other parts of Europe).

Sharia law is another shadow upon the wall that spooks middle England with surprising regularity. The number of sharia courts is reportedly at 85 (unchanged from 2009), but that number is difficult to verify. Nor are these courts immune from controversy.

Sharia-complaint wills are another recent example.  Yet, the reality is less sensational than “Islamic law is adopted by British legal chiefs.”

The Trojan Horse scandal raised questions about the role of religious orthodoxy in education. Hints of violent extremism were unfounded but this orthodoxy overreached and undermined.

Again, in the absence of evidence, a “reluctance” to speak English is hard to substantiate. Certainly, it is possible some struggle, as cuts to ESOL programmes prevent many (Muslims and non-Muslims) from improving their English.

“They have long turned a blind eye towards alien practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, which is meant to be a serious offence in Britain though there are an estimated 20,000 polygamous Muslim marriages in the UK.”

According to Amnesty International, “FGM predates Islam and is not practiced by the majority of Muslims, but it has acquired a religious dimension.”

Forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. No major religion advocates the former. Figures from the Forced Marriage Unit found that the highest number of cases took place in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

To imply either is strictly a problem for Muslim communities is disingenuous and undermines the seriousness of these issues.

Polygamy (unlike bigamy) is not a specific offence in criminal law. Yet, you would be unable to form such a marriage in the UK. So many religious ceremonies go unregistered in UK law (which can leave many women vulnerable).

“Self-abasement by our authorities also means that any problems that Muslims face in Britain can always be blamed on racism and so-called Islamophobia.”

Leo McKinstry’s lack of empathy robs victims of anti-Muslim abuse their victimhood by belittling and denigrating their suffering as illegitimate. The evidence of anti-Muslim prejudice is evident in our work within TELL MAMA and with hard data and facts and figures. We suggest that Leo spend some time reading our reports.

“The fact that more than half of all Muslims in Britain are economically inactive is seen as the fault not of their culture but of the Government. This represents a remarkable propaganda victory for the Muslim grievance-mongers.”

Is McKinstry implying Muslims are inherently lazy? The actual causes of this economic inactivity are more complex.

In spite of having the youngest religious age profile, some Muslims were economically inactive due to study commitments or looking after home and family. Others (11 per cent) are inactive on health grounds as a similar percentage is retired. Discrimination (of a racial and religious nature) is another barrier to potential employment.

“From the burka to sharia law they demand separatism and then complain about marginalisation. Their social exclusion is voluntary.”

Data from Gallup contradicts the idea of voluntary exclusion – it found that 82 per cent British Muslims want to live in diverse and mixed areas (compared to 63 per cent of non-Muslim Britons).

Rather than engage with the issue on a meaningful level, Leo McKinstry merely recycles old myths and stereotypes. Concern for extremist violence should not encourage demonisation of ordinary British Muslims.

Primark Store and Allegations that it Refuses to Service Niqabi Women in France

This article has been translated by us within TELL MAMA and reproduced from the web-site of Collectif Contre L’Islamophobe en France.

An employee working for Primark for four months regularly went to work with her veil on and never had a problem before. In recent months, she was required to remove her veil before entering the store, a policy with which she refused to comply. One of her colleagues contacted CCIF for the same problem.

What is the reason for this change? The employee discriminated explained that difficulties around veiling were connected with a change of management to a French team. The store was previously run by foreigners. Is Islamophobia becoming a specifically French problem?

This is not the first time that Primark has shown signs of Islamophobia. According to our figures, the store is the only one to refuse clients in niqabs. On this subject, two women also contacted us about this same issue this August. They were refused entry into the store under the pretext that they did not comply with the store’s code of conduct [“charte de l’etablissement”]. For one of them, the manager on duty asked the police to intervene to check her identity, but this passed without incident.

In spite of this,  the manager refused to let the woman in the niqab in the store. This attitude has nothing to do with security measures; on top of all this, the manager asked the police to escort the women out of the store discretely. This discretion was intended not to upset customers, a majority of whom are Muslim, who are not aware that Primark has prohibited the niqab.

Primark would do well to review its corporate polices if it doesn’t want to lose customers. Recall that private enterprises are not immune to the law that guarantees freedom of religion of its workforce and this type of abuse is intolerable.

Call for Advisory Group Members for TELL MAMA

As part of a restructure and re-organisation of the TELL MAMA project, we are looking to recruit active, experienced practitioners in hate crime work onto the TELL MAMA advisory board which will provide input on operational matters to the staff team of TELL MAMA and to the Director.

The Advisory Board will be made up of 20 individuals or organisational representatives who bring with them experience, networks and leadership skills that can enhance and develop the work of this national anti-Muslim hate crime reporting project. Meetings will be held quarterly and the Advisory Group has a number of key roles which include advising and reviewing current practices in the project, bringing in and enhancing networks that can support information transfer, supporting the analysis of data and guiding the staff team as and when required through advice and information.

Advisory Group members will therefore play a role in moving the project to another level and ensure the promotion of TELL MAMA and the possibility of developing new partnerships with organisations who have similar aims in countering intolerance and bigotry, whilst also recording and mapping hate incidents/crimes.

This call for applicants is to fill 15 vacancies on the Advisory Board and the roles are un-remunerated, though standard class travel costs will be paid. It also provides successful applicants with the chance to shape a newly formed national hate crime project within a challenging environment and we are keen for people who are looking to take on a challenge to apply. We are therefore looking for applicants to be able to demonstrate the following and applications should include a current CV and a covering letter.

Minimum Requirements

We are looking for applicants to have experience in at least three of these areas:

- At least 2 years work experience managing a local, regional or national hate crime project,
- Be analysts, with 2 years of experience, who have worked on data from hate crime recording projects,
- Be individuals or organisational leads that have well-developed networks attached to them and who also bring with them practical experience of having worked on or advised on hate crime projects,
- Have a strong track record of working with different and diverse communities within the United Kingdom, including faith communities,
- Have a strong understanding of groups that target Muslim communities such as far right groups and the campaigning methods that they use.

We are particularly keen for organisations that work on specific hate strands to apply since the diversity of opinions and experience can add value to the development of the TELL MAMA project.

If you are interested in applying to be a member of the national TELL MAMA advisory group, please e-mail your CV with a covering letter outlining your experience and background in the areas outlined above to the Director of TELL MAMA. Please address the CV to: Fiyaz Mughal, e-mail: info@tellmamauk.org

New Co-Chair of TELL MAMA Hits the Ground Running

We are pleased to announce that our new co-chairman, Shahid Malik, will be carrying out a structural review of TELL MAMA to build on the existing foundations of our work. We believe that re-evaluating the systems and processes in a complex national project like TELL MAMA is regularly required to ensure that it is fit for purpose and that it is focused on delivering our key objects which include supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate and mapping, measuring and monitoring it.

Many projects that monitor hate incidents do not review their systems and processes and this we believe, maintains the status quo of organisational practices, some of which may not be fit for purpose. Our goal is to be one of a leading number of projects that monitor, map and measure hate incidents and we have come a long way over the last 2 years when the project was founded.

We will be providing regular updates on developments, as well as a public call for applications from individuals with expertise in the field of hate crime work who can sit on our national advisory body.

Former UK Minister, Shahid Malik, Joins National Project Mapping & Monitoring anti-Muslim Hate in the UK

Shahid Malik TELL MAMAWe are proud to announce the appointment of Shahid Malik as a Co-Chair to the national TELL MAMA project. Shahid Malik joins Richard Benson who was recently appointed to help lead the project and who brings with him decades of experience leading the well-respected Community Security Trust which provides security to synagogues and Jewish institutions, as well as the monitoring of antisemitism.

The appointment of Shahid completes the leadership team heading up the only project in the United Kingdom, which maps, measures and monitors anti-Muslim hate, or Islamophobia.

Shahid Malik served as both a Commissioner for Racial Equality in Great Britain and an Equality Commissioner for Northern Ireland – as part of the “Good Friday” Peace Agreement – and brings a unique insight and powerful experience in the field discrimination and bigotry. In addition, he served as the Member of Parliament for Dewsbury till the 2010 general election and held four ministerial roles across the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for International Development. His final government role included being Minister for Race and Faith, and Against Extremism. He also served as the Chairman of the National Faith Consultative Council and Minister for Europe’s largest development area, the Thames Gateway.

He brings significant senior level experience as a Chairman, Chief Executive and Board member of numerous national and international companies and organisations.

As well has his experience in fighting Islamophobia he has also been a keen advocate of fighting all forms of discrimination and is currently a Patron of the renowned Wiener Library.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr Malik, the current co-Chair Richard Benson stated:

With Shahid’s appointment, this now becomes a very exciting time for TELL MAMA as it strengthens its leadership team to provide important support to its founder and driving force, Fiyaz Mughal.

As co-chairs we bring a wealth of experience in tackling hate crimes and our focus will be to ensure that this important work helps and supports all victims of Islamophobia, to work with the Police and Government and to make sure that this form of hatred is eradicated.”

Mr Malik, who has spoken many times in his ministerial roles about the need to tackle hatred in all its forms added:

“I am looking forward to working with Richard and Fiyaz to continue the development of this excellent initiative and ensure that it is universally viewed as the pre-eminent source of independent data for policy makers and practitioners alike in the fight against bigotry and hatred in our country.  The fight against Islamophobia is not a Muslim fight and as Richard demonstrates, it is a fight for all those who believe in a fair and just society – hatred towards any group in our society should be a call to action for every group in our society.”

Britain First, the Roma and More Agitation From the Extremist Group

Britain First had a day of action this past weekend in Hexthorpe, a village just south of Doncaster town centre in South Yorkshire. They uploaded a video to their website and Facebook.

Residents of Hexthorpe, an area made infamous by the Daily Mail and Daily Express for having an out-of-control Roma population has seen a high-level of anti-social crime as well as other offences such as fly-tipping and litter, in addition to some violent crimes and drug offences. Local Britain First officers and activists arrived on (Saturday) to distribute leaflets in the village.

The video of their day action shows Britain First members slipping leaflets through mail-slots and talking to residents. While residents complain about gangs and intimidating anti-social behaviour, Britain First was clearly in town to provoke and agitate minority residents in the area. They mention a number of ‘Muslims’ (though they are never shown on camera), that have shouted abuse at them and ‘threatened’ them. Further, the Britain First activists are seen in front of a group of youths and eventually began to provoke them on camera.

The location of this ‘day of action’ and the approach that Britain First has taken is quite important. As they did with the management of Star City Vue Cinema in Birmingham, Britain First confronted locals based on reports that they were given from the media. In the video, they used screenshots from the Daily Mail and Daily Express about ‘Roma’ gangs terrorising Hexthorpe. This means that reporting about ‘immigrants,’ ‘asylum-seekers,’ and ‘benefits scroungers,’ in papers like the Daily Mail and the Daily Express have, it seems, a direct influence on far-right activism, giving them legitimacy to make accusations and inflame community tensions.

While it is absolutely true that Hexthorpe has had a problem with anti-social crime in the last year, which the Daily Mail reports is based on lax immigration policies allowing Roma communities into the UK. This ‘day of action’ was directed against the Roma population in Hexthorpe and the Britain First video opens with random shots of ‘brown bodies’ going about their day as if it were some sort of crime. Britain First actually offers no proof of anti-social behaviour by any Roma people in the area, but paints them as such based on their different skin colour. In addition, the Britain First activists handed out anti-Muslim leaflets featuring Drummer Lee Rigby.

Instead of encouraging a dialogue between community groups, or even simply speaking with Hexthorpe residents about what they would like done differently, Britain First activists have stormed in, handed out misleading literature, and called for “immigrants out!” This kind of action serves only to deepen community tensions and the racist undertones that motivate Britain First are clear in the video and through their language which constantly draws on divisions between ‘English’ people and all the other ‘immigrants’.