Anti-Muslim attacks on the rise in the West

The level of hate crimes targeted towards Muslims and those who are thought to look like Muslims within Europe and North America is dramatically high according to a new survey released June 6 by a human rights organisation. It was revealed at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Bucharest, Romania, by Human Rights First, a leading human rights group based in America, and was part of their annual hate crime survey.

Executive Director of Human Rights First, Maureen Byrnes, claimed that violence against Muslims was extremely high in 2006. In criticising governments for lack of actions, she said, “Efforts to combat these crimes are greatly hampered by the fact that majority of governments in Europe still fail to collect date on these attacks.”

The annual report looked at the level of crimes committed against Muslims during 2006 and the growing trend of Islamophobia around the world since the attacks of September 11 and 7/7 bombings.

The report found that the violence towards Muslims was aggravated after September 11, fuelled by “the perpetuation of stereotypes and generalizations about Muslims,” and that terrorism acts done in the name of Islam caused “random reprisals against those identified rightly or wrongly as co-religionists of the perpetrators.” It described horrific incidents towards Muslims, from verbal and physical assaults including fatal incident at individuals to arsenic attacks at mosques and desecration of the Islamic books including the Qur’an.

The Muslim News, 29 June 2007