Muslim victims of hate crimes often receive no support from their fellow citizens and are left feeling reluctant to report attacks as a result, according to a new study.

An in-depth survey of the experiences of British Muslims targeted because of their faith found that many are left feeling trapped after suffering verbal or physical abuse. They also discover that few people are willing to intervene or lend support in their defence.

Researchers cited one incident where a woman wearing a headscarf was assaulted by a group of men while travelling on a busy train, having alcohol poured over her clothing to chants of “We are racist, we are racist and we love it”, and no one in the carriage intervened. Another interviewee claimed he asked for police to be called after receiving death threats on a bus but the driver refused to intervene. A Muslim midwife resigned from her job after suffering abuse from patients which left her feeling “a lot people hate me”.

The study by academics at Birmingham City University and Nottingham Trent University, commissioned by the charity Tell Mama, said many interviewees now considered receiving abuse in the street or online to be “normal” and live in fear of “trolling” on social media turning into attacks in real life. Campaigners said there was a need for improvements to the way online abuse is reported with too little importance being given by social media companies to attacks that do not contain threats of violence.

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