Anti-Islam hate crimes triple in London after Paris attacks

  • 4 December 2015
  • From the section London
Father and sons praying in Walthamstow Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The majority of incidents reported have been classed as 'harassment' by the Met Police

The number of Muslims attacked each week in London has more than tripled since the Paris attacks, figures show.

The Met said in the week prior to the attacks on 13 November there were 24 recorded Islamophobic incidents. Two weeks after there were 76.

Mussurut Zia from the Muslim Women's Network UK said the community was "fearful" but people of other faiths had come forward in "solidarity".

The Met said "regretfully" hate crime increased during "difficult times".

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The force's figures show the annual number of incidents have also increased with the majority of reports relating to harassment.

The 12 months up to October 2014 saw 576 incidents reported which increased by 47.6% to 845 the following year.

Image copyright PA

Recorded Islamophobic offences:

Week ending 10 November - 24

Week ending 17 November - 46

Week ending 24 November - 76

Ms Zia said: "We've had people coming forward and telling us about being avoided in the shopping mall, people refusing to sit next to them on the bus.

'Suffer in silence'

"Then you've got the physical aspect with coats and scarves being yanked... In terms of fear it's increased since Paris"

She said some in the community were also concerned the air strikes in Syria had "increased the likelihood of them being targeted", but that people of all faiths had been offering "support and solidarity".

"I was getting tired that each time something happened I had to come out and say 'I was not part of that', but now having people of other faiths saying 'we're with you' and it's 'us against them' it's a positive out of something so negative," she said.

The Met said it was providing extra patrols and had more than 900 officers investigating hate crime.

It said a greater willingness to report crimes may account for part of the spike, but it was "acutely aware" Islamophobia remained "under reported" and "no one should suffer in silence".

'Unsafe in my own city'

Image copyright Saba Zaman
Image caption Saba Zaman said she had noticed more people looking at her since the events in Paris

Saba Zaman, case study

Saba Zaman, a documentary producer from London, says she has seen an increase in attacks against Muslim women since the terror attacks in Paris.

Three days after the 13 November shootings, a man allegedly spat at her and called her a "dog" as he got off a Tube train.

"I didn't realise until he got up and I saw his spit all over my paper," she said. "I was seething, I found it funny but in such an ironic way. I didn't know how to react to something like that," she said.

A few months before, she reported a more serious incident when a man grabbed her hijab.

"I was so shaken up, I got into work and burst straight into tears," she said. "It was the first time since 7/7 I've felt so unsafe in my own city."

Ms Zaman said she had noticed more people looking at her in the last month and has since become "territorial" towards other Muslim women on public transport. She said she had intervened in another incident where a Muslim woman on the Tube was pushed and insulted for "wearing a ninja outfit".

"If I see another Muslim woman on the Tube, now I get on the same carriage just in case something might happen," she added.

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