UK: New report finds Islamophobia at unprecedented levels

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Everyday life for Muslims in Britain is characterised by rising levels of abuse, discrimination and violence, according to a new report to be released next month.

The report, which is the latest in a series by Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) seeking to evaluate Muslim experiences of hostility and discrimination, paints a disturbing picture of a community under siege from the prevailing winds of racial and religious bigotry.

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Between 2010 and 2014 the number of people who reported seeing Islamophobia directed at someone else leapt from 50% to 82%. In the same period the number of people stating they had witnessed negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims jumped from 69% to 93.3% suggesting these experiences have become almost universal for Muslims.

The report, which is based on a survey of 1782 respondents from across the UK, finds increasing levels of anti-Muslim antipathy on every single measure since the survey was last run in 2010.

These include an increasing incidence of verbal abuse, discrimination, and physical violence.

The authors blame the worsening conditions on what they call a ‘hate environment’ that has been deliberately whipped up by the media, politicians and the commentariat, the purpose of which is to ‘otherise’ Muslims and legitimise discriminatory treatment of them through official policy.

The authors state: “The hate environment created by negative political and media discourse, mutually constituted with laws that discriminate including the CTS Act 2015, work together to create a hate environment within which the negative experiences of hated societies are produced and as this research shows, in the UK context, have worsened over the
five- year period.”

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