Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

Anneliese Dodds marks Islamophobia Awareness month

 

The 30th of November is the last day of Islamophobia Awareness Month.

Following the divisive events of 2016, Islamophobia awareness should not be confined to only one month in the year.

Recent figures released by the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs’ Council in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have shown that there was a ‘dramatic’ and ‘clear’ 41% increase in the incidents of reported racially and religiously aggravated offences in July following the result of the EU referendum, compared to the previous 2015 statistics. These statistics support previous news reports documenting an increase in reported hate crimes.

Whilst these statistics on their own are hugely concerning, this spike is part and parcel of a larger and more general picture of intolerance and Islamophobia. Figures released by MEND, an anti-Islamophobia think tank, have shown that this year, there have been 5,209 reported religious hate crimes; a rise of 60% from 2014-2015.

This taps into growing Islamophobic sentiment, which, unfortunately, seems to have been fuelled in part by media coverage. A study by the Cardiff School of Journalism, which looked at 1,000 newspaper articles between 2000 and 2008, found that news articles generally presented Islam as a dangerous religion, with the most common adjectives used in articles focusing on Islam being, amongst others, ‘radical’ and ‘extremist.’ References to radical Muslims outnumbered references to moderate Muslims by seventeen to one.

Right across Europe, Islamophobic attacks seem to disproportionately affect women. According to statistics from the Fundamental Rights Agency, 70% of all attacks on Muslims in Europe are against Muslim women. This seems to be due to the fact that one of the most visible signs of Islam is the wearing of a headscarf, which is traditionally worn by some Muslim women. Furthermore, in some EU member states, there has been evidence of institutional and legislative Islamophobia. Bans on headscarves, and more recently, birkinis, have only inflamed anti-Islamic rhetoric.

For all these reasons it is great to see that MEND and Stand Up to Racism are hosting a variety of nationwide events to raise awareness of Islamophobia and how to combat it.

I have dedicated a section of my website http://www.anneliesedoddsmep.uk/stopping_hate_crimes to help residents of the South East report hate crime they've experienced, and provide guidance to people who have witnessed a hate crime incident.  

 

 

The 30th of November is the last day of Islamophobia Awareness Month.

Following the divisive events of 2016, Islamophobia awareness should not be confined to only one month in the year.

Recent figures released by the Home Office and the National Police Chiefs’ Council in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have shown that there was a ‘dramatic’ and ‘clear’ 41% increase in the incidents of reported racially and religiously aggravated offences in July following the result of the EU referendum, compared to the previous 2015 statistics. These statistics support previous news reports documenting an increase in reported hate crimes.

Whilst these statistics on their own are hugely concerning, this spike is part and parcel of a larger and more general picture of intolerance and Islamophobia. Figures released by MEND, an anti-Islamophobia think tank, have shown that this year, there have been 5,209 reported religious hate crimes; a rise of 60% from 2014-2015.

This taps into growing Islamophobic sentiment, which, unfortunately, seems to have been fuelled in part by media coverage. A study by the Cardiff School of Journalism, which looked at 1,000 newspaper articles between 2000 and 2008, found that news articles generally presented Islam as a dangerous religion, with the most common adjectives used in articles focusing on Islam being, amongst others, ‘radical’ and ‘extremist.’ References to radical Muslims outnumbered references to moderate Muslims by seventeen to one.

Right across Europe, Islamophobic attacks seem to disproportionately affect women. According to statistics from the Fundamental Rights Agency, 70% of all attacks on Muslims in Europe are against Muslim women. This seems to be due to the fact that one of the most visible signs of Islam is the wearing of a headscarf, which is traditionally worn by some Muslim women. Furthermore, in some EU member states, there has been evidence of institutional and legislative Islamophobia. Bans on headscarves, and more recently, birkinis, have only inflamed anti-Islamic rhetoric.

For all these reasons it is great to see that MEND and Stand Up to Racism are hosting a variety of nationwide events to raise awareness of Islamophobia and how to combat it.

I have dedicated a section of my website http://www.anneliesedoddsmep.uk/stopping_hate_crimes to help residents of the South East report hate crime they've experienced, and provide guidance to people who have witnessed a hate crime incident.  

 

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.