Tell MAMA Report Details a Doubling of Reported Anti-Muslim Cases in a Decade (2012-2022) Since Its Launch with Over 20,000 Members of the Public Using Its Services

A Decade of Anti-Muslim Hate 

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Director of Tell MAMA – Statement
Director of Tell MAMA, Iman Atta OBE says:

“We have produced one of the most detailed studies in the U.K. with actual case numbers and classifications of anti-Muslim hate cases covering a decade from 2012-2022. This is a decade worth of data from assisting, supporting and ensuring that British Muslims get access to justice. We hope that this data inspires others to focus on this area of work and to bring to the awareness of many, that anti-Muslim hate needs to be peacefully challenged, monitored and countered wherever it manifests itself.

If we are to ensure a society where social cohesion is strengthened, then tackling anti-Muslim hatred is an important area of work that needs our collective effort.”

Key Points

  • 20,000 British Muslims and others have used the Tell MAMA services between 2012-2022
  • Tell MAMA has worked on over 16,000 cases of reported anti-Muslim hate
  • There has been a doubling of verified and confirmed anti-Muslim hate cases reported to Tell MAMA in a decade,
  • Far right agitation, anti-Muslim attacks globally, political discourse, the Brexit referendum result, the activities of Islamic state and terrorism and extremism, the grooming scandals and targeted anti-Muslim campaigns have all led to spike points in anti-Muslim hate,
  • The highest frequency of street-based cases reported to Tell MAMA took place in 2016, 2017 and 2019 with the Brexit referendum result and a range of terrorist attacks buffeting the United Kingdom and its population and the Christchurch terrorist attacks in New Zealand. Added to this, agitation from foreign state actors, (such as Russian based social media accounts), sought to stir up divisions in social cohesion in the country,
  • Covid-19 led to the highest onlinerecorded cases of anti-Muslim hate reported into Tell MAMA. There was a significant over-representation of neighbour disputes during the Covid lockdowns that led to anti-Muslim hate between parties,
  • Specific anti-Muslim campaigns in 2018 culminated in the ‘Punish a Muslim’ campaign that raised alarm in parts of British Muslim communities. This campaign demonstrated that anti-Muslim hate campaigns were becoming more fragmented and involving lone actorsrather than organised groups or smaller networks of individuals. It was therefore moving from the domain of far-right extremist groups into the hands of dedicated and committed singular anti-Muslim activists,
  • In 2021, Israel-Palestine spilled over into reports with an increase of anti-Muslim cases to Tell MAMA. (This is also in line the Community Security Trust – the CST – which reports a spike in antisemitic cases when this conflict takes place in the Middle East). Furthermore, Azeem Rafiq’s highlighting of the racist abuse he suffered and attacks against asylum seekers and centres also led to increased reports to Tell MAMA. 
  •  The trend of household conflicts between neighbours continued and demonstrated that it was not just a ‘lock down’ issue and thatthere was a growing trend of neighbour disputes that turned anti-Muslim in nature.
  • The language of anti-Muslim hate over a decade that can be classified broadly into two categories that include ‘mechanistic’ dehumanising language such as denying the humanity and human traits of Muslims and comparing them to machines, including depicting Muslim women as ‘bombs’ or machines that increase the population of Muslims through births. The second category involves relating Muslims to animalistic dehumanisation where Muslims are compared to animals and thereby denying their human traits.