‘No one should feel afraid’: Reports of Islamophobic hate crime to GMP more than DOUBLED after Paris attacks

The number of Islamophobic attacks reported to Greater Manchester Police more than DOUBLED in the four weeks following the Paris attacks.

There were 50 reported cases of Islamophobia in the aftermath of the terrorists’ devastating siege of the French capital, in which 130 people were killed.

Statistics obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that between November 13 and December 9, there were on average 1.85 reported cases of Islamophobia per day, compared to 0.8 per day from January 2014 to October 2015.

These figures align Greater Manchester with a trend that swept the nation in the weeks immediately following the terrorist attacks, which left the world stunned.

Speaking to MM, Stand Up To Racism activist Nahella Ashraf said: “Rather than trying to understand what drives these individuals to carry out these horrific actions politicians and the press will make sweeping statements about how the Muslim community must get its house in order.

“These statements are irresponsible because they give cover to anyone out there who may hold racist views to see all Muslims as being a problem and therefore an obvious target.

“I personally know Muslim women that felt afraid to travel alone on public transport during the aftermath of the Paris attacks.  

“No one should ever feel afraid to leave their homes, no matter what their religion and the colour of their skin.”

The upturn in Manchester follows a nationwide surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes of 300%, with figure raising again in London.

The data analysed covers all cases of hate crime and hate incidents reported to Greater Manchester Police which were perceived to be motivated by prejudice toward Muslims and Islam.

In a press release published in November by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, it was claimed that hate crime reports increased in the weeks following Paris not because of a rise in the crime, but because of greater work done to encourage people to come forward and report it.

The statement read: “There has been no spike in Islamophobic hate crime reports in Greater Manchester since the Paris attacks.

“It is believed that much of the increase in hate crime reporting has been as a result of partnership working between police, agencies and communities to encourage people to come forward and report, although it is clear that global events over the past 12 months have had an impact on the dramatic increase in Islamophobic reporting.”

Speaking in November about hate crime in the city, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd said: “It’s more important than ever for everyone in Greater Manchester to stand together against hatred.

“Whether we are Muslim, Christian, Jew, Sikh or atheist, whether we are male or female, whether or not we are trans, or disabled, or a goth, whether old or young – here in Greater Manchester we rightly take pride in living in a place that is diverse, exciting and cohesive.”

MM contacted GMP, but they declined to comment.

Image courtesy of Hammad Khan, via Flickr, with thanks

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