Islamophobia in Britain reaches a new record.

Sufyan Ismail. Picture: Ajay Nair

Since the Paris attacks and hate crimes against the Muslim community in London are on the rise.

Sufyan Ismail, Founder of Muslim engagement and development -MEND thinks that the attacks are not just a reaction for the events at Paris but years of injustice against British Muslims have appropriated the landscape for such behaviors.

“Some journalists argue that Muslims have a victim mentality, I would like to tell them, They are victims,” He said.

He mentioned a study by Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies in 2008, about the representation of British Muslims in the National Print News Media 2000–2008 saying that:

The three most common ‘news hooks’ for stories about British Muslims in the British media;

(1) Terrorism or the war on terror, This involved stories about terrorism trials, stories about the ‘war on terror’ and about hostage taking.

(2) Religious and cultural issues, This included discussions of Sharia Law,dress codes, forced marriages. These stories generally highlighted cultural differences between British Muslims and other British people.

(3) Muslim extremism, Stories about Abu Hamza, as the single most newsworthy British Muslim.

These three news hooks are likely to cast Muslims as the source of problems or in opposition to traditional British culture.

By contrast, it was found that only 5% of stories were based on attacks on or problems for British Muslims.

“ Research shows that only 1 in 21 times, the word Muslim is associated with a positive adjective in British Media” He said.

He argues that Muslims suffer a double ethnic penalty which make them the most discriminated community in the workplace.

Employment opportunities remain worse than for all other groups when comparing Muslims to the White majority and other ethnic minorities.

“ Pakistani men are 154 times more likely to be interrogated in the airport. If this is not Racial Profiling, I don’t know what is,” He said

Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act and the powers to stop and search at ports and airports without “reasonable suspicion” has been another problem for Muslims.

According to MEND’s Muslim Manifesto (2015):

  • Almost 1 in 5 under-the-hour examinations are likely to be of Muslims
  • Over 1 in 3 over-the-hour examinations are likely to be of Muslims
  • About 2 out of every 5 individuals detained are likely to be Muslim

According to the MET, there were 76 recorded Islamophobic incidents only in the two weeks after the Paris attacks.

Sufyan Ismail believes that two wrongs don’t make it right. There is no excuse for the recent Islamophobic attacks. The hatred harbored by those lunatics against the other doesn’t make them any different than ISIS.

The only way out of it is not to enforce a vague stance of British values, but to focus on our shared human values.