Gov attempts to pacify far-right raise Islamophobic hate crimes: UK
Anti-Muslim hate crimes increased by 42% in England and Wales for the fiscal year ending March 2022, according to the British Home Office.
A prominent Muslim scholar reported that hate crimes in the UK are on the rise because the government "tends to attempt to pacify the extreme right by adopting some of their beliefs."
According to the CEO of Cordoba Foundation, Anas Altikriti, the British Muslim community has noticed a "tangible surge in far-right and far-right organizations that are now in government."
His remarks came after the Home Office released statistics on Thursday showing that Islamophobic hate crimes in England and Wales increased dramatically last year, with Muslims being the most targeted group for the fiscal year ending March 2022.
Police documented 3,459 religious hate crimes against Muslims, a 42% rise from the previous year.
“The figures that came out today only go to confirm the actual feeling that is quite tangible and quite powerful throughout the Muslim community we have been sensing, and seeing, observing ourselves, the rise in anti-Muslim sentiments and actions as well as the narrative, the overall overriding narrative, whether it be official, whether it be through society -- that the classes Muslims as almost second class citizens on the margins of society that are deserving of being the targets of the overall rise of far-right and nationalist sentiments,” said Altikriti, whose group tries to bridge “the gap of understanding between the Muslim World and the West.”
“It's something that confirms those kinds of feelings. I think that the actual figures are far greater than what we saw will be it that they do confirm that Muslims are the targets of the, you know, the greatest anti-religious sentiments expressed against any religious minority," which is something the foundation has been warning against for a long time now.
Government tries to appease far-right
Altikriti emphasized that "there is a tangible surge in far-right and far-right organizations that are now in government and were nearly relegated to the periphery of societies only 15 years ago."
He said, “They were not entities, they didn't really matter in any election or any. But now, less than two decades on, we see that many, throughout Europe and even here in the UK. They have a huge impact on not only government, as we saw in Austria, we see in Sweden, as we see now in Italy, for instance, but also on the narrative itself, because what happens is that with the rise of far-right sentiments, the sort of mainstream right in our case, for instance, the Conservative government tends to try to appease the far right by adopting some of their positions."
According to Altikriti, although the far-right is not in fact in the government, still their positions, viewpoints, sentiments, and statements are being adopted and espoused by the actual government.
With the absence of #Twitter's role against #Islamophobia, a new report shows that the majority of anti-Muslim tweets come from #India, the #US, and the #UK. pic.twitter.com/8wTI4CuUM2— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) September 26, 2022
“What these figures go to show is that we are at risk of the sorts of dissemination and the breakup of the very fabric of British society and it's something that we must pay serious attention to. I think that the Conservative government is espousing policies that the Conservatives of 25, 30, 35 years ago would have never even imagined, and particularly the kind of narrative in regards with the immigrants and the minorities and the like,” said Altikriti.
“It's something which is absolutely disgraceful in terms. I mean, only two days ago, we heard the Home Secretary no less,” referring to Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s recent remarks that it was her ‘dream’ to see planes taking off to carry immigrants to Rwanda, he said.
“And as I tweeted, an immigrant daughter of immigrants, who expressed that her dream, no less, her dream - not a goal, not her ambition - her dream was to see a flight take off, carry immigrants off to the other side of the world.”
“It's something that is quite shameful to be perfectly honest. I mean, our position, today, we're talking about the figures in regards to the anti-Muslim sentiments but in all, whether it be anti-religious anti-minority sorts of statements whether it be the sorts of nationalist overtures that belittle anyone else it's something that we see every single day,” said Altikriti.
Islamic Britain community
“The first thing I would warn against is to ask the victims to solve the problem of the culprits. The abuser in this particular case, you know, someone who's racist, a government, which is Islamophobic -- I mean, what can I do?” the CEO said.
He said he finds it “extremely difficult to engage in discussions whereby the Muslim community is discussing building fences around the community trying to isolate ourselves -- we'll secure ourselves with CCTV cameras with high fences with bodyguards and as such, that's not what we want as Muslims.”
#Europe has witnessed a wave of #Islamophobic activity. #Germany indicated that 83 #Islamophobia crimes were recorded in the first quarter of this year.#France has recorded a 38% increase in anti-#Muslim attacks in 2021.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) June 12, 2022
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“We are British citizens. We want to be part of Britain or we want Britain to be part of our religious institutions. We want to accept our neighbors into our mosques. We want, you know, to have the discussion about the problems and the challenges that face all of us, whether it be about the cost of living, whether it be about energy bills, whether it be about government budgets, and taxation and all of that. We want -- we are part of all of this and we want to be part of the general discussion. The issue of racism, whether it be Islamophobia, whether it be anti-Semitism, whether it be any other targeting of any other minority religious or otherwise, it's something that we all have to work together in order to solve.”
Hate crimes in society
Altikriti said the problem is not only Islamophobia but other religious groups targeted by hate crimes as well.
“I can't solve only my problem as a Muslim. So, the problem of Islamophobia was for instance -- my Jewish neighbors are being attacked, or my Hindu neighbors are being attacked, or the such or someone is trying to stir up problems such as we're seeing in Leicester and Birmingham and as such, between Hindus and Muslims,” he said.
“This is something that we must work all together in order to confront and I'm not saying here about us as minorities, I'm talking about all British people because as we saw with the civil rights movement in America whether it be 30,40, 50 years, 200 years, there will come a time when the culprits when the perpetrator of these discriminatory crimes will have to come to account."
“And we don't want our children to pay the price for the ignorance and arrogance and stupidity of people amongst us today,” he said.