The rise of Islamic State (IS) and a string of scandals involving the British Muslim community has led to a sharp increase in the number of Muslim hate crime in London, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.
The Met said that the number of crimes jumped from 344 last year to a staggering 570 the latest 12-month period as the news headlines came to be dominated by news of IS atrocities in Iraq and Syria as well as the shocking scale of the Rotherham sex-abuse scandal involving largely Pakistani-Muslim men.
The infamous ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by hardline Muslims to infiltrate several schools in Birmingham has also contributed to the increase in Muslim hate crimes, according to experts.
The brutal killing of British soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of southeast London last year saw a similar increase on individuals as well as Muslim institutions such as mosques right across the country.
Similar retaliatory attacks have taken place in the aftermath of the recent Rotherham grooming scandal.
According to reports such incidents usually tend to die down after a period but one campaigner said he was shocked at the dramatic rise in the number of attacks.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of the campaigning group Monitoring Anti Muslim Attacks (MAMA) told the Huffington Post that he had expected a rise of between 30 – 50%.
“It’s certainly linked to current events, but the severity of the reports we get vary, depending on what is happening in the news”, Mr Mughal said.
“When there’s an IS beheading, or there’s a terror threat made against the UK, you’ll find a bombardment of online abuse and threats. And it will be a discernible spike, increasing for a short period and then dying down. The Trojan Horse coverage led to a long period of threats, and more violence, with direct threats and attacks against mosques. The worst this year has been linked to Rotherham, and mosques in particular have experience many threats.”
The Met’s figures were revealed a day after Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled a string of tough new laws aimed at combating extremists and those who “spread poisonous hatred” in the UK.
Muslims however, say such measures would only lead to further radicalization of individuals and warned it would marginalize moderate, peaceful Muslims.