An alarming picture of the physical violence, intimidation and discrimination faced by many of Britain’s two million Muslims on a daily basis, was portrayed yesterday in new academic research.
The 224-page report from the European Muslim Research Centre, based at the University of Exeter, said that the bulk of incidents went unreported by communities who had lost faith in the authorities to do anything about them.
Released at a conference yesterday at the London Muslim Centre, the report called for “urgent” government action to tackle the problem after years of neglect.
Part of a 10-year study into Islamophobia throughout Europe, the report represented “an insight into the grim reality of a lived experience that is insufficiently acknowledged and understood outside of the communities where it occurs”.
Authors of the report, Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert, the co-directors of the research centre, said in their introduction: “We argue in this report that much anti-Muslim violence in the UK is predicated on the rhetoric and practice of the ‘war on terror’ that George Bush and Tony Blair launched against ‘an evil ideology’ in the aftermath of 9/11.”
Mr Lambert added: “Because the war on terror is viewed as a security risk, Muslims do not have the support that is now widely accepted in other areas of hate crime. Muslims are not requesting special treatment, just equal rights with their fellow citizens.”
The report, “Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies”, was based on teams of researchers interviewing members of the Muslim community throughout the UK.