Islamophobia in U.K.

By Jubair1985 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The majority of U.K. Muslims have experienced Islamophobia according to a new survey.

A study conducted by Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a prominent Islamic U.K. group, has revealed that majority of British Muslims hold the belief that politicians and mainstream media are the reasons behind the rise of Islamophobia.

About 60 percent of 1,780 Muslims surveyed by IHRC replied that they had observed someone else being the target of Islamophobia. It was higher than the 40 percent figure when the survey was started in 2010. About 50 percent of Muslims at that time had reported to not witness any kind of Islamophobia. The last figure is now lowered to 18 percent. There is also an increased feeling of being discriminated and demonized. The report highlighted that Muslims suffer both verbal and physical abuse. There is also workplace discrimination. The questions asked in 2015 are a repeat of those asked in 2010.

According to the IHRC report, a negative media and political discourse brought about this hateful environment. The discourse, when mutually constituted with discriminatory laws, work in tandem to make a hate saturated environment. This results in negative experiences. The report said that such discrimination has become worse over the past five years.

The IHRC study has revealed that there is a marked increase in the incidence of physical assaults. In 2010, it was 13.9 percent. In 2014, it became 17.8 percent. Attacks were also much violent than before. About 63 percent of respondents have reported of experiencing objectionable behavior. Many were allegedly talked down or treated like they were stupid. Many respondents in the survey had their opinions devalued or minimized. The previous figure in 2010 was 38 percent.

The report also says the number of individuals reporting negative stereotypes about Muslims and Islam in media went up to 40 percent from 10 percent during the same time. The IHRC says that it is another proof of the media having an important role in perpetuating a hate filled environment. Those who have been surveyed highlighted the incidences of British politicians using anti-Islam rhetoric. About 75 percent of those surveyed said that they have heard Politicians utter anti-Islamic comments. About 50 thought politicians forgave Islamophobic acts.

The U.K. government, since 2001, has acted against rising terrorist threats and it said that the threat of terrorism due to extremist Islamic ideology can happen at any time. Academics have said that the report puts light on the rise of the anti-Islamic prejudice in the U.K.

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