What is Islamophobia?
In our reporting, Islamophobia includes when someone or something is targeted, discriminated against or excluded in any way, due to their/its actual or perceived Muslim identity. It also includes prejudice that promotes fear against Muslims and Islam (see below for a more detailed list of the types of Islamophobia).
To see further information about Islamophobia, see the 1997 Runnymede report – Islamophobia: A Challenge for us all
Why are we collecting data on Islamophobia?
Islamophobia is growing in the UK, with ongoing and regular scaremongering about Muslims from certain sections of the media and with anti-Muslim hatred becoming more socially acceptable, having “passed the dinner table test”. There is a real danger that such prejudice will further stoke up anti-Muslim hatred and provide the fodder for an already growing number of acts of violence against the Muslim community.
In the last year, we have, for example, seen attacks against mosques, physical abuse against Muslims, anti-Muslim graffiti at a university, a rise in verbal abuse and hate mail, reports of Islamophobia in schools and continued online abuse against Muslims through social media.
Whilst the best way to defeat hatred is to build stronger bonds between communities, there needs to be a strategy to proactively tackle this divisive issue for our society at large and help reverse this trend in anti-Muslim prejudice. Britain can be proud of its record as a tolerant society and so can the Muslims for their continued positive contribution in that enrichment.
Part of any strategy requires Islamophobia to be appropriately collected, documented and analysed by a body that has the confidence and trust of the community, and which has a track record of being able to raise the profile of an issue. The Muslim Council of Britain is therefore well placed to take this role, and with the right data, will be able to:
- Raise the profile of Islamophobia: through professional and high-quality reporting, trends and spikes can be identified to give Islamophobia greater prominence in the media
- Work with others to counter Islamophobia: engage with experts to develop the best data-driven solutions and propose these to community and civil society organisations/activists, social support and key law enforcement and government officials
It must be made clear that reporting does not remove the need for local solutions for local problems. Where a crime is committed, it must be reported to the police.
How are we able to help?
Provide the ability for you to report an incident openly and confidentially –The Muslim Council of Britain has a simple form here where you can record an Islamophobic incident. By providing further information e.g. details of the incident, where it took place, information about yourself, we will be able to draw out key insights that will support our work in recommending the appropriate policy changes to help prevent such incidents continuing to occur. We treat all the data received confidentially and will not pass the data of any individual to any third party without the individual’s consent.
Support your case: In some cases, we will be able to discuss the issue further with you and support you in taking further action. We are in touch with law enforcement officials and are able to highlight our insights at a local and national level where appropriate.
Types of Islamophobia
Incidents can be classified in one of the following ways:
- Online abuse e.g. on social media such as Facebook or Twitter
- Threatening gestures
- Verbal abuse or threats
- Hate mail / written abuse or threats e.g. emails, letters through the post
- Attack on a property e.g. graffiti, stickers on mosques, pig heads being thrown
- Discrimination e.g. job discrimination
- Anti-Muslim literature e.g. posters, stickers seen at supermarkets
- Assault e.g. objects being thrown at someone
- Violent assault
You will be able to provide further information when reporting an incident, as well as indicate if the incident does not fall into one of the above categories.