Sunday, May 12, 2013

Islamophobic crime: how bad is it?

In a recent posting I noted the announcement by Cabinet Minister Baroness Warsi that "tackling anti-Muslim hatred was a key priority for the coalition government". I commented that this was a curious priority to have since there was no significant anti-Muslim hatred in the UK. It turns out a Jew is over 16 times more likely to be the victim of an anti-Semitic crime than a Muslim is of being the victim of an 'Islamophobic' crime.

It is not easy to get hold of hard data, but last week I came across a copy of a local paper of the London Borough of Redbridge which sheds light on the scale of  'Islamophobia' and 'Islamophobic crimes'. This borough is second only to Newham in its proportion of Muslim residents; the Borough's own 2011 census results indicate that about 65,000 of the 281,000 population are Muslims. The number of Jews living in Redbridge is believed to be around 9,000. Given that the 'white' population of Redbridge is predominantly working class and generally fairly poor, if there was going to be any area of the UK where you would expect a very high number of  'Islamophobic crimes' then this would be it. The actual figures are here:

So, the latest annual number of 'Islamophobic crimes' is - other than homicide - the lowest number of any official category. Just 7 such crimes in the whole year (while the relatively small number of Jews experienced more than double that number of anti-Semitic crimes).  And that is despite the unprecedented campaign by Muslim organisations, as well as national and local government, to encourage reporting incidents of Islamophobia no matter how minor they may be.

Isn't it wonderful that the Government is devoting so much money and energy to convince us that Islamophobia is one of the gravest threats faced by the UK today?

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